How to Create a Safe Sleeping Environment for Babies
So you’ve begun — or perhaps began dreaming of — putting together the perfect nursery for your baby. You’ve got safe swaddling down pat, and you’ve read up on safe sleeping recommendations for babies.
But when it comes to how to create a safe sleep environment for babies, you’re a bit stumped. And with so much information out there, that seems to contradict the abundance of choices when it comes to baby bedding, who could blame you?
Which is why, with the help of our friends at Red Nose — safe sleeping experts, if there ever was one — we’ve going to take you through the elements that need to be considered when crafting a safe sleeping environment. In fact, Red Nose Chief Midwife, Jane Wiggill, runs through safe sleeping guidelines in the video, below.
Safe Sleeping Guidelines
Cot, Portable Cots & Bassinets
When it comes to safe sleeping environments, it all starts with where they’ll be sleeping — a cot, portable cot or bassinet.
A safe cot is essential to safe sleeping and nursery safety - so ensure your cot or portable cot meets Australian safety standards AS/NZS 2172:2003 or AS/NZS 2195:1999, respectively.
The next step to setting up a cot is the mattress. Firm and flat, it should be well fitted without the addition of extra padding or loose bedding. And remember, no pillows, bumpers or soft toys.
As Jane showed us in the video, placement is an important element in safe sleeping practices, and is key to creating a safe sleeping environment. Make sure to always place your baby on their back, with their feet to the foot of the cot.
Bring bed linen to the level of your little one’s chest, tucking firmly underneath to ensure they remain safe, with their head and face uncovered at all times.
Safe Sleeping Environment - Bedding Specifics
"The most important thing to remember when selecting fabric types for bedding, is that you choose blankets and sheets that are breathable. The bed linen needs to be able to be tucked in firmly without raising the base of the mattress due to the bulk of the bedding underneath," Jane tells us.
Safe Sleeping Checklist - Fibre Edition
Whether you’re swaddling your little one in a wrap or dressing their cot, when it comes to safe sleeping for babies — start with lightweight, breathable materials. Choose offerings like cotton, muslin, linen and TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres. An added bonus: they’re also gentle against the skin.
Something to remember about safe sleeping practices, it’s important your baby stays comfortable throughout every season. For warmer months, we suggest breathable sheets and wraps, crafted from lightweight fibres like cotton muslin and linen. In cooler months, look to woven cotton blankets if extra warmth needs to be added.
Wanting the best for little ones and their safe sleeping environment includes considering their comfort. Which is why feel is so important. Combining knowledge with quality materials, look for fabrics like organic cotton (GOTS certified) and Belgian flax linen, both known for their softness.
Babies aren’t exactly known for their tidy ways. When selecting baby bedding, look for materials that are durable and easy to care for. Something that can easily be thrown into the washing machine in case of a spill or accident — like cotton. There’s comfort in knowing that your little one’s bedding and towels will maintain their softness and quality after every wash.