ST LOUIS, Va. — This week is National Sleep Awareness Week and Today in St. Louis’ Allie Corey wanted to take this opportunity to shed a light on safe sleep for babies.
Corey is expecting her first child in May and one of her biggest fears as a new parent is SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. As it turns out, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to protecting your baby in their crib.
The day your child is born is one of the most exciting times in a new parent’s life. It can also bring on a whole world of worry.
In order to ease some of the concerns, we spoke to safe sleep expert Libby Neels of Safety Stop.
"New parents will come home and they just want to be awake staring at their baby the whole time to make sure you know SIDS doesn't occur or anything,” Neels said.
Here’s what Neels said are the main factors to safe sleep for your baby.
"First, most important thing is you want to make sure your baby is the cutest thing in the crib," said Neels.
That means the only thing you should have in your baby's crib is a fitted sheet and your baby. No blankets, stuffed animals, or those decorative crib bumpers you see all over baby registries.
"All of those things can be suffocation hazards. Even as a newborn your baby is going to move around like crazy. We think they're little stationary things but that’s not true. They can easily get their face wedged in so really important that your baby is alone in the crib with nothing else," explained Neels.
The standards have changed for how you put your baby down to sleep.
"Back is always going to be best and this is where we run into some confusion with the grandparents. It used to be belly, but now back is best because we have found that it does reduce the risk of SIDS in babies,” Neels said.
Whether or not you swaddle your newborn is personal preference but Neels says you need to know when it should come off.
"Really important that we stop swaddling when the baby starts showing signs of rolling over just because we want their arms to be free to be able roll themselves back to the back," she explained.
We know new parents can be extra tired, but you never want to fall asleep with your baby.
"Definitely do not want to have baby in the bed and as a new mother this can be really difficult because you want to be close to your new baby," she explained.
5 On Your Side reached out to the top three baby stores, Pottery Barn Kids, buybuy BABY and Target, to find out why they still offer baby bumpers for cribs if they are indeed dangers.
A spokesperson for buybuy BABY sent us this statement:
“Buybuy BABY is a leader in promoting safe sleep environments for babies, via various efforts such as displaying educational signage in stores, distributing safe sleep educational materials to baby registrants and customers both in-store and online, as well as providing thorough training to buybuy BABY associates. We provide educational signs within each in-store crib display on creating a safe sleep environment. buybuy BABY is fully committed to providing our customers with safe, high quality products that contribute positively to the growth and well-being of our children. We are aware of the current debate surrounding the use of crib bumpers and actively monitor the issue. As part of our ongoing commitment to provide our customers with the broadest assortment of products, buybuy BABY offers crib bedding sets with and without crib bumpers, as well as non-padded alternatives including mesh liners.”
A spokesperson for Target sent us this statement:
“Providing high-quality and safe products to our guests is critically important to Target. It’s because of this focus that Target made a commitment to stop selling traditional padded crib bumpers. To help inform our guests, we also include language about safe sleeping in the baby product descriptions on Target.com and use “bare is best” imagery in our marketing, online imagery, and store displays.” For more information about safe sleep, click here.
We still have not heard back from Pottery Barn Kids.