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Safe Sleep Spaces for Babies

ABC Kids Expo Recap Reading Safe Sleep Spaces for Babies 4 minutes Next June Launch Calendar Overview

With all the baby products marketed to help babies fall asleep and stay asleep, it’s no wonder parents may be confused about what’s actually safe for sleep and what isn’t. If you were like me as a first-time parent, I assumed they couldn’t sell something that wasn’t safe for sleep but unfortunately, that just wasn’t true then and isn’t true now!

It is up to parents to educate themselves on what safe sleep practices are and implement them.

What does safe sleep mean?

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Safe sleep typically refers to the ABCs of sleep: alone, on their back, in a crib (or other safe sleep approved space).

There are a lot of other guidelines that the AAP has recommended, but those are considered protective factors (meaning they don’t increase the risk of SIDS, they’re an extra layer of protection). The ABCs of sleep are considered preventative factors and that’s why they’re the most important practices to follow.

Safe Sleep Standards

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Along with the ABCs of sleep, the AAP recommends the following for safe sleep standards/guidelines:

  • Room share for 6 (or more) months
  • Use sleep sacks instead of blankets
  • Do not use any weighted products for sleep
  • Use a pacifier for sleep if your baby takes one

For more guidelines, here are resources to read:

Safe Sleep Spaces for Babies

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A safe sleep safe for babies (including newborns) will be labeled a crib, bassinet, or Playard/pack-n-play.

If it is labeled “sleeper”, “lounger,” etc then it is only for supervised awake time and not any sort of sleep (supervised or unsupervised).

However, it’s also important to note that not every safe sleep space is safe for every age. For example, bassinets typically have a size or ability limit. That means they either outgrow the bassinet by height, weight, or developmentally, whichever happens first.

Playards (pack-n-plays) and cribs also have size limits (and ability limits).

There are a few different brands of pack-n-plays that do not have size limits though and these are helpful to use if your child still needs an enclosed sleep space but has outgrown a regular pack-n-play or their crib. The Guava Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib does not have a weight or height limit and says it can be used until your child can climb out of it.

If your pack-n-play has an elevated removable mattress, check with your specific manufacturer for when to discontinue using that part of the pack-n-play.

Something you may not know is that even toddler beds have weight limits. If you convert your crib to a toddler bed (most do with a conversion kit), the weight limit is only 50 lbs. For that reason, a lot of parents will skip the small toddler bed and opt for a regular full-size (or larger) bed.

If you’re looking for more specific recommendations as well as how to transition out of these various safe sleep spaces, check out these blogs:

Author Bio:
Ashley Olson is a certified pediatric sleep consultant, owner of Heaven Sent Sleep and The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness, and is passionate about helping new parents, experienced parents, desperate and sleep-deprived parents form healthy sleep habits for their children.

She has over 5 years of experience in working with families and has completed over 150 hours of coursework plus continuing education related to infant and toddler sleep. The focus of her work is on fostering a routine that grows your bond with your child while improving their sleep habits. She specializes in custom sleep plans and one on one support in changing sleep practices!

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