Safe baby sleep

Tips to help your baby sleep peacefully

Newborns sleep as much as 18 to 22 hours a day. As long as he or she is waking for feedings, it is usually best to let your baby determine the amount of sleep he or she wants and needs.

Here are some tips to help your baby sleep peacefully:

Sleeping Location

Most experts now agree that sleeping with the baby close to you at night is helpful to both of you. A bassinet next to your bed is probably most convenient for both of you. It's OK to bring your infant into bed for nursing or comforting, but he or she should be returned to the crib or bassinet when you are ready to return to sleep. However, never nurse your baby in a waterbed, which can be dangerous due to the softness and motion of the water mattress - baby could slip between mattress.

There is growing evidence that room-sharing with your infant is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS. However, it's important to note that bed sharing, such as baby sleeping with parent or sibling, is not recommended since this increases your baby's risk of suffocation.

Sleeping Position

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their back on a firm, flat surface to decrease the possibility of SIDS. The exception to this is if  your doctor has instructed you otherwise in the case of a medical problem. Ask your doctor which position is best for your child.