During the holiday season we visit friends and family, attend holiday parties or sometimes even spend a weekend at grandma’s house. Often our travels include babies, who doze during the trip or while visiting. This can be dangerous if a safe place to sleep is not provided.
According to the Michigan Infant Safe Sleep Advisory Team, Michigan babies have suffocated while sleeping on furniture, and sleeping with pillows, cushions and blankets. Rather than making an makeshift bed for baby while holiday visiting, the team recommends you follow these tips to keep your baby safe:
● Take a portable crib with you if you’re not sure one will be available. Adult beds,
couches, and sofa chairs are dangerous for infant sleep. The safest place for baby to sleep is in a crib, bassinet or portable crib that meets current safety standards.
● Use a firm mattress and tightly fitted sheet in the crib, bassinet or portable crib. Take out all pillows, blankets, comforters, bumper pads, stuffed toys and other soft things.
● Your baby should sleep on his or her back. Babies can suffocate if placed face down.
● Never allow a baby to share a bed with adults, other babies or children. Baby should sleep by himself or herself in the crib, bassinet or portable crib.
● Use a sleep sack instead of a blanket. Blankets can suffocate the baby. Sleep sacks are specially designed, wearable blankets for safe infant sleep.
In addition, even car seats may pose a hazard to sleeping babies. According to a 2009 study, sleeping in car seats can result in lower oxygen levels and risk of breathing problems in infants. It may be OK to nap during travel, but avoid letting baby sleep in a car seat outside of the car for long periods of time.
Be sure to tell anyone caring for your baby, including teenage babysitters and grandparents, about the steps they need to take to keep your baby safe while sleeping. And remember, always make sure baby has a safe place to sleep, including when traveling or visiting family during this holiday season.
The Michigan Infant Safe Sleep Advisory Team includes representatives from the Michigan Departments of Community Health, Education, Human Services, as well as the Michigan Public Health Institute and Tomorrow’s Child.
For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/safesleep or call 2-1-1.
Baby care basics classes are held regularly at Botsford Hospital. Learn how to care for a newborn whether you’re a new parent, grandparent or caregiver.
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