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Safe infant sleep on vacation

Keep baby snoozing safely when away from home.

Article Author: Juice Staff

Article Date:

Safe sleeping position for infant

During the summer months, many people leave home to see loved ones or enjoy a vacation. And for young families, that can mean traveling with an infant.

The importance of safe sleep

If a crib isn’t waiting at the destination, parents could be tempted to share a bed instead. It’s something the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Safe Kids Northeast Florida warn against. Guidelines say that, until 1 year of age, children should sleep:

  1. Alone
  2. On their backs, and
  3. Near a parent, but in a separate safe sleep environment, like a crib or bassinet.

Many times, moms bring their baby into bed to breast or bottle feed, said Jessica Winberry, prevention coordinator with Safe Kids Northeast Florida, which is led by THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. This increases the risk of accidental suffocation. Bedsharing is especially common among nursing mothers, desperate to soothe their babies and to get a good night’s sleep for themselves.

Adult beds aren’t safe places for a sleeping infant. Babies can get tangled in a blanket, suffocate from an adult rolling on top of them, fall off the bed or get wedged between against a headboard or wall.

Because new parents are so tired, it’s important to be sure to have every precaution in place, Winberry said. Rather than feeding baby in bed, Winberry recommended parents get up and go somewhere else to do the feeding to minimize the likelihood of accidentally falling asleep.

“It’s also important to read instruction manuals for all products to understand what they’re intended to be used for. Remember, the only safe sleep environments are a crib, bassinet and pack-n-play,” Winberry said. “Items like breastfeeding pillows, rockers and other types of things are not recommended for a sleeping baby.”

There’s an easy solution on vacation, said Winberry. Bring a packable or portable bassinet with you. She also offered dos and don'ts to help babies sleep soundly and parents have peace of mind.

7 safe sleep tips for when baby is away from home

  1. Don’t use an old crib. If it's been years since it was used, it likely doesn’t meet current safety standards. Extended corner posts, decorative cutouts on headboards and slats spaced more than 2-3/8 inches apart are all strangulation risks. Drop-sided cribs are no longer considered safe.
  2. Do place your baby on a firm mattress with well-fitted sheets.
  3. Don’t place loose materials in your baby’s sleep space: That means no blankets or stuffed animals.
  4. Do use a sleep sack to keep your baby warm. This is a special zipped garment that looks like a sleeper at the top, but fans out into a closed sack at the bottom, like a tiny wearable sleeping bag.
  5. Don’t let your baby sleep in any product not made for routine sleep, such as a rocker, bouncer, swing or car seat (outside the car). Always read the product owner’s manual for warnings.
  6. Do supervise your sleeping baby on long road trips and stop and take them out of their car seat every few hours.
  7. Don’t let your baby share a bed with another child or a pet. The risks are the same as bedsharing with a parent.

Looking for more information on infants and sleep?

For more safe sleep tips, visit wolfsonchildrens.com/safesleep. You can find more safety guidelines for reducing preventable injuries in children by visiting Safe Kids of Northeast Florida, powered by THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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