As new parents, KT and I constantly get unsolicited advice. We are constantly debating with our parents about how to do things. What prompted this post isn’t how annoying we all find unsolicited advice, but how alarming it is how some people are not familiar with baby safety issues. This post isn’t about what you should or not do with your baby, rather I want to raise the awareness of baby safety. So here’s my unsolicited advice: Everyone should do what works for them and their babies but be aware of the risks so that you stay alert to real possible dangers.
1. Blankets. My mom told me that she used to cover me with a blanket when I was a baby. I don’t do that with Logan because I am super afraid of suffocating him. When Logan was about four months old, I swaddled him tightly and put him in his bassinet asleep. At that time, we were trying sleep training and self-soothing so I didn’t go in there immediately when he woke up crying. After a couple minutes, I got this really uneasy feeling and decided just to peek in on him. To my horror, he wiggled out of his swaddle and got his blanket wrapped completely around his head. Even now, at six months Logan doesn’t move his arms much. Not to grab things, not to swat at things. I put his straw hat over his face and watched what he would do. He didn’t grab it and push it off his face. Rather, he just turned his head to the side. Swaddling is generally safe to do but because Logan is a super fussy baby with super strong baby legs, he can get out of any swaddle. And because he doesn’t move his arm and hands deliberately yet, the risk is too high for Logan to sleep with any blanket, much less a loose blanket.
2. Temperature. There’s a lot to be said about this topic. If you google the safest room temperature for infant, you’ll probably get 65 degrees or 65-70 degrees. This is a lot cooler than I had expected but the take away is that you don’t want your baby to overheat. You want to prevent deep sleep and problems with your baby’s ability to wake up. I don’t know if this is true for all babies but Logan tends to run hot so I’m constantly having to cool him down. I run cold so when I layer up, I need to remember that Logan probably doesn’t need as many layers. Right now, it’s super hot here so it’s really hard to get the temperature down to 65-70 degrees at night when Logan goes to sleep. We just cool the house down to about 78 degrees and make sure he’s not a sweaty mess when we put him in his crib. The house cools during the night so we’re not too concern about him overheating.
3. Back sleeping. I assumed everyone knows that it is safest to put babies to sleep on their backs but I’ve been proven wrong. There is no conclusive reason why it’s better for babies to sleep on their backs but this website gives a pretty clear likely explanation. Intuitively, it makes it easier for babies to breathe. You also avoid rebreathing and carbon dioxide poisoning. For us, I always put Logan down on his back (unless he’s sleeping on us). But ever since he started rolling over, he would roll over onto his stomach almost immediately after we put him down. Since I’m not going to tie him down on his back while he sleeps (or ever), or constantly roll him over hoping not to wake him up, we just opted to buy a baby breathing monitoring device. We don’t completely rely on it. We still check up on him regularly but this works for us.
4. Car seat. I’m pretty sure almost everyone knows the importance of infant car seats right? We don’t want baby projectiles in the event of an accident, to put it bluntly. My mom told me that she didn’t put my youngest sister in a car seat when she was a baby. Yes, the horror but my sister is alive and well. My neighbor who is maybe in her 50s, told me that when she was young, baby car seats were not required by law. So educate your parents (or anyone as a matter of fact) and make sure they know the danger of not using a car seat if they are taking care of your babies. Confession time. When Logan was a couple months old and needed to be fed, I thought I can nurse him in the car while KT drove us home. FOR A SPLIT SECOND ONLY. Then I realized the error in that thought and was so shocked with myself. I blame it on post pregnancy brain fart. Please don’t hold it against me.
There are many more baby safety issues but I think this is a good start to get the discussions going. Whatever we decide to do with our babies, I think we should all be knowledgeable and be hyper vigilant. Be safe everyone!