For families expecting to welcome a new member into their life, creating a warm and cozy home, bed, and bedroom for your baby is an important aspect of the preparations. But do you know just how important your baby’s bed and bedroom are? The sad reality is that, especially for newborns and babies within their first year, unsafe bedding and bedroom conditions can actually be life-threatening.
Worldwide statistics show a high rate of sleep-related infant mortality during the first six months of a baby’s life. In the USA, for example, approximately 3,500 infants die annually from sleep-related incidents, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), suffocation, or strangulation in bed.
In order to prevent such tragic accidents from occurring, I’d like to provide parents and caregivers with some tips on appropriate sleep positions and bedding for infants.
In addition to the above, it has also been found that breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS, while smoking, alcohol, and other forms of substance abuse in the home can increase the risk of SIDS.
After a child’s first year, parents may start thinking about whether or not to begin the process of teaching the child to sleep in a separate room. There are, at present, no specific recommendations on exactly when the best time is for a child to have their own room, as this depends greatly on the differing cultures and lifestyles of various races and societies. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended waiting until after the first year of a child’s life. This does not mean that every child should have a separate bedroom as soon as they reach one year of age, as the appropriate timing depends on the parents themselves and how ready the little one is, as well as other matters of convenience in the home and whether there is enough space for the child to have their own room, etc.
If possible, it’s recommended that parents provide a separate room for your child at least before they start school, as there are disadvantages to room-sharing, and especially bed-sharing. Both children and adults may not sleep very soundly when they share the same bed, resulting in insufficient rest, which can then affect the child’s performance and concentration in school, the parents’ work performance and mental health, as well as issues with a lack of privacy for the parents.
There are a number of tips or methods that can help make a room move smoother and easier. These include: