Newborns sleep up to 20 hours a day, so you want to make sure the baby’s crib is clean and safe. Avoid many of the “extras” you see shown in pretty magazine photographs of baby rooms or on the shelves at stores. Safety is the most important thing while your baby is sleeping.
- The crib or bassinet should always be clean.
- Make sure there is no peeling paint on the crib, especially a used one. Sometimes babies chew on crib parts. Swallowing the paint could be harmful to your baby.
- The bars on the crib should be close enough to prevent your baby from getting her head caught between them. Use a soda can to check the space between the bars. The bars are too far apart if the soda can slips through the space. Do not use a crib of this kind.
- To prevent suffocation do not use pillows, stuffed animals, crib “bumpers”, or blankets in the crib during the baby’s first year. Suffocation is the leading cause of accidental death of children under a year old. Dress your baby warmly instead of using blankets, and place him on clean sheets.
- Some parents choose to use a blanket on their baby, even though they are warned not to. If a blanket is used, tuck it in around the foot and sides of the mattress, and bring it up only to the baby’s chest to keep it away from his face.
- Make sure that your baby sleeps on his back (not his tummy) on a firm mattress in a crib or bassinet.
- And remember when picking your baby up to support his neck.
—- from First5 Advice for New Parents