If you choose to have your baby share your bed, be sure to take the following safety precautions to ensure there are no dangers posed to your baby.
WORDS NURULHUDA SUHAIMI
1. Baby’s Sleeping Position
Place your baby to sleep on his back so there is no obstruction to his breathing while he is sleeping. Sleeping on his front can increase the risk of SIDS as your baby will have more difficulty breathing.
2. Your Sleeping Position
Not only does your baby’s sleeping position matter for him to sleep safely, but also your own sleeping position. When you are sleeping next to your baby, lie on your side while facing your baby, and curl your body in a C-shape around him, making sure your knees are placed under his feet. This sleeping position can stop you from rolling forwards or backwards while you are sleeping.
3. Your Bed Mattress
Ensure your bed mattress is firm so your baby is well-supported while he is sleeping. “Avoid waterbeds, soft mattresses, or any other heavy beddings (including blankets) that may potentially cause suffocation of the infant,” advises Associate Professor Daniel Goh, senior consultant, Division of Paediatric Pulmonary and Sleep, National University Hospital.
4. No Spaces or Crevices
Be sure your bed has no spaces or crevices where your baby can be entrapped in. Your bed’s mattress should be tightly fitted to the headboard and footboard, and there should be no space between your bed and the adjoining wall where your baby might fall into.
5. No Unnecessary Objects
There should be no objects anywhere near your baby’s face while he is sleeping, so remove any unnecessary things prior to his bedtime. “Objects such as pillows, blankets or stuffed animals that could potentially land near the baby’s face should be avoided. Sleep clothing such as sleep sacks or wearable blankets are good alternatives to blankets,” says paediatrician and child neurologist, Dr Wendy Liew Kein Meng, SBCC Baby & Child Clinic (Neurology Centre).