Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Understanding Safe Sleep

I am a member of the Georgia Infant Safe Sleep Commission or GISSC. This is a, coalition of governmental, eeducational, and nonprofits who work together to help parents to develop safe sleeping habits for their babies. The process of safe sleeping says: Infants should sleep alone, on a firm matress, with a light cover. Ideally matress pads, crib bumpers and pillows are not in the crib or bassinet.

Now, let me tell you why. Because it is better to be safe and to error on the side of caution. Do not get me wrong, I am not one of those overly cautious parent educators who think parents need to be watching children 24/7 or else. I am however wanting parents to recognize the fact that knowing better means doing better. I work on the Coalition with a GBI medical examiner who does autopsies on all children under five. She had spoken to us on several occasions about how devastating it is to parents who wake up to find their child has died in bed with them.

I often hear people say families have been co-sleeping for generations, which of course is true. But, matresses have also changed. Most people think the danger of  suffication for an infant is rolling over on a child.  But, in  reality the danger comes from a parrot rolling over and the baby rolling over onto their face and not being able to breathe. A sleeping parent rarely realizes their rolling during sleep. Yet, many infants have died this way. One infant dying this,way is one too many when we know better. Let your child sleep alone in a basdinette next to your bed if you want them close to you.

Parenting is mostly about examining your feelings, thoughts and actions and choosing what is best for your child. Snuggling is certainly important part of bonding. Sleeping together is fun and creates a closeness. However,  there is a time for everything wait to snuggle while sleeping until you child is older . It will be safer.