Bringing home an infant is intimidating, especially when it comes to sleeping. You will most likely receive a lot of advice (whether solicited or not), and it is sometimes difficult to know what will actually benefit your baby. Since one of Owlet’s core principles is safe sleep, we’re sharing five safe sleep myths and truths to help you make the best decisions for your child.
Myth #1: You can control your newborn’s sleep routine.
Truth: The first three months of a baby’s life are commonly referred to as the “fourth trimester,” when your child is adjusting to living outside the womb. Newborns will fall asleep when they are ready, and will wake up when they need to be fed or changed. Go with the flow that first little while and listen to your baby’s cues, and wait a few months to begin implementing a schedule.
Myth #2: Crib bumpers protect your baby.
Truth: While crib bumpers may seem like the perfect way to protect your baby from bumping the crib rails, they are actually a safety hazard. Bumpers and other bedding like pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and comforters pose a significant suffocation risk to your child. Keep baby’s crib free of everything except a fitted sheet. If you are worried about whether or not your child is warm enough, invest in a sleep sack or similar item, or learn how to safely and properly swaddle your child.
Myth #3: Baby’s sleep position isn’t important.
Truth: Research shows that the back sleep position is the safest for babies. This position enables your child to look around the room more efficiently as well as to move her arms and legs more freely. Baby should also have her own space to sleep. Make sure that crib mattresses are firm and fit the crib perfectly, and are (as mentioned above) free of loose items. Remember the ABCs of safe sleep: Alone, On My Back, In My Crib.
Myth #4: Keep the nursery completely quiet to help baby sleep.
Truth: Most newborns love ambient noise, as it reminds them of being in utero. Gentle white noise can help mask other harsher noises and can actually help your baby sleep more soundly. If your baby is having a difficult time falling or staying asleep, consider purchasing a white noise machine or other device to help promote more restful sleep.
Myth #5: It’s okay to let the cat/dog sleep in the baby’s room.
Truth: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends never leaving a baby alone with a pet, including allowing the pet to sleep in the child’s room. Floating fur or dander from your pet could affect your child’s breathing. Also, adding a new family member is an adjustment for everyone involved, fur babies included. To minimize the risk of a bite, scratch, or a playful pounce, make sure you monitor your pets and children together, and make the nursery a pet-free area. Just to be safe.