Sunday, September 07, 2008

Secrets of Safe, Successful Slumber for Your Baby

(ARA) – It’s easy to become sleep-obsessed when you’re a new parent. Not only are you dealing with your own sleep deprivation and trying to help your baby develop a sleep routine, there’s the compelling question of just where your bundle of joy will bed down.

Do you put her in a bassinet? Does he sleep best in his bouncer or car seat? Can she fall asleep on her own in a crib? Or do you co-sleep? No matter where you choose to put your baby to sleep, safety and success must be your main concerns. Your decision will be easier if you know a few basic facts about infants’ sleep habits, safe sleeping practices and bedding options.

First, says Dr. William Sears, a renowned infant sleep expert, don’t be confused or frightened by recent headlines of safety recalls for a specific brand of bassinet. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a safety warning regarding a type of convertible bassinet manufactured by the now-defunct Simplicity Inc. of Reading, Pa. The warning applies only to those products, not to all bedside sleepers and definitely not to those produced by Arm’s Reach Concepts, makers of the acclaimed Co-Sleeper brand.

A safe co-sleeping bassinet is designed to attach snugly to an adult bed, leaving no gaps, bars or openings that could potentially entrap an infant. The Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper bassinet safely allow mothers to have quick, easy access to their infants, and enjoy the closeness of a co-sleeping arrangement, without actually having the baby in bed with them, Sears points out.

Studies show that at least 50 percent of all American parents co-sleep with their infants at some point. Research by Dr. James J. McKenna of the University of Notre Dame’s Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, shows that safe co-sleeping helps reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related problems.

Co-sleeping may not always be what your little dreamer has in mind, however. Plenty of babies prefer to nap in a car seat or bassinet. While many will happily fall asleep on top of a willing parent, others prefer the quiet of their own crib. Wherever your baby sleeps best, be sure to follow basic safety when putting her down.

* Always put babies to sleep on their backs, per the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation. Since its launch, the “Back to Sleep Initiative,” which taught parents that babies are safest sleeping on their backs, has helped reduce SIDS deaths by more than 50 percent.

* Babies sleeping in a car seat should never be left alone – in the car or in the house. If your little one dozes off on a drive and you don’t want to disturb her, use the kind of car seat that easily detaches from the base. Bring the seat and baby inside the house and place them on the floor where you can easily see them and keep a close watch.

* Choose bassinets, cribs and bedside sleepers that meet the CPSC’s high safety standards. Cribs or bassinets with bars should have no more than 2 3/8 inches between bars or slats, according to federal standards.

* Wherever your baby sleeps, don’t put anything in the bed with her. That means no stuffed animals, blankets or pillows. These and other items may cover her face and obstruct her breathing.

* Never put your baby to sleep in an adult bed alone. If you choose to co-sleep, opt for a Co-Sleeper bassinet, a small, separate bed with one open side that fits up snugly against your bed. “The Arm’s Reach Concepts Co-Sleeper bassinet is a safe product which I fully endorse and which I recommend to patients in my pediatric practice,” Sears says.

To learn more about Arms Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinets, visit or call (800) 954-9353.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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