The ABCs are more than just letters or a children’s song. ABCs, in this case are used as a memory tool to help parents keep their babies safe while they sleep.
Are you a new parent or planning to become a parent soon? Are you worried about bedtime and about keeping your little ones safe? If you are, here are some tips to help ease your bedtime worries:
A is more than just the beginning of the alphabet. When it comes to safe sleep for babies, A stands for ALONE, which is the safest way for a baby to sleep. You might be thinking, wait, I don’t want to leave my baby alone. That is understandable, your child can certainly sleep in your bedroom but it’s crucial for the baby to have its own sleeping space in a crib, bassinet or pack and play. Sleeping with mom and dad or siblings is not safe.
Babies need their own space to keep from getting squished by a bigger person while in a slumber. When a person sleeps, they don’t have control of their bodies and they are not aware of their surroundings and babies don’t have the ability to move away from something if they are stuck. This is extremely dangerous because babies are not strong enough to support the weight of another individual and it could lead to the baby not being able to breathe.
Next up: B for BACK. Until babies can turn over on their own, the safest position for them to sleep is on their back. Why is this? If your child were to spit up during the night, because of how the baby’s body is positioned, gravity would take over and the baby could choke on the spit-up.
In addition, if a baby sleeps on their tummy before they learn to roll over on their own, they could choke or be smothered by the bedding underneath them and could die. Babies don’t know how to protect themselves yet, and they don’t understand what could happen to them if they can’t breathe, so it is up to the moms and dads, and anyone else that cares for the baby to ensure their sleeping arrangements are safe.
Let’s C what we have here, oh yes, crib! C is for CRIB, to keep a baby safe, baby needs to sleep in a safe crib with a snug mattress and fitted sheet. Babies should never sleep on couches, adult beds, air mattresses, in car seats or swings and again, the child should sleep ALONE without stuffed animals, fluffy pillows, blankets, or people. Cribs protect babies from falling or getting squished and putting them in a position where they cannot breathe.
When in doubt, think of your ABCs: Alone, Back, and Crib. Sleep is very important, especially for babies, and this simple acronym can help you ensure your baby gets the best sleep possible while staying happy and healthy.
Image from the Newaygo County Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect website-