Creating a Safe Sleep Environment

Once you bring your newborn home from the hospital, you’ll soon learn the importance of sleep. Initially, establish a dedicated area within your room, but not in your bed, for the newborn to sleep. Placing a baby’s crib or bassinet within arms reach will make it easy to feed throughout the night and bond with your child. After the first month of life, and when the baby reaches about 10 pounds, transition to a crib in the baby’s nursery.

When you place the child within the crib or bassinet, always lay him on his back. If you notice your baby is sweating or flush, make sure the room is a cooler temperature and dress the baby accordingly. You can also give the infant a pacifier. It may help him self-soothe.

It is also important to make sure there is nothing in the crib with the baby. Place him on a firm mattress and remove any extra clutter, including blankets, pillows or stuffed animals. Keep the room dark throughout the night, and if the child wakes to be fed or changed, keep the lighting dim and the room quiet.

Most importantly, establish a routine with your baby. Distinguishing between playtime and sleep time is key to your newborn’s development.