Top Tips for Safe Sleeping for Children

You may not get as much sleep as you wish, but, your baby can easily sleep up to 16 hours a day in the early weeks. With so much time spent asleep, it’s vital to find a comfortable and safe place for your child to rest. The position that your baby sleeps in also matters. Let’s get deeper and find ways to ensure your little one is safe while asleep.

How to Keep Your Baby Safe during Sleep

  • Place your baby on his or her back each time during sleep 
  • Once your baby starts rolling over, do not turn him when he rolls
  • Avoid using items to prop your baby into a single position
  • Do not smoke or allow smoke near your baby 
  • Never sleep together with your baby on an unsafe surface. This can be a couch, armchair, soft mattress, air mattress, waterbed, quilt or duvet, pillow or sheepskin. See the preferred mattress here
  • Do not make your baby too warm; use light clothes during sleep

In case your baby has any special sleeping needs, ensure you discuss safe sleeping options with a doctor. 

Bed Choices (crib/cradle/bassinet)

Choosing a baby cot, crib or bassinet is exciting, but when you don’t know what safety measures to look out for, you put your own baby in danger. When choosing and setting up a crib ensure that:-

  • The crib bars are under 6 cm apart
  • The mattress is exactly 15cm thick and fits the frame 
  • The gaps between the frame and mattress should not be more than 3cm
  • There are no items or knobs on a crib that could catch the clothing of a baby – this would be unsafe if the baby tries to climb out

Other measures to keep are:-

  • Use a firm mattress
  • Avoid a bed with bumper pads
  • Makes sure the bed has a tight-fitting sheet
  • There should be no hazards in or around the sleeping area
  • Place your baby on a firm surface that is free of hazards
  • Make sure the bed is steady and stable

Note: Keep your baby’s sleeping position away from the window blinds, straps, or cords.

When your baby falls asleep while in the in the car seat, take him or her out as soon as you arrive at your destination. It is not safe to leave your baby sleeping in a car seat, baby swing, stroller, or bouncer seat. This is because these positions might restrict their airway. 

Things to Consider when Sharing a Bed with Your Baby

Some mothers feel it is necessary to co-sleep with their baby. It is important to be extra careful, however, because the designs of adult beds do not take into consideration infant safety.  You can reduce the risks by doing the following: –

  • Make sure the mattress is firm and clean
  • Place your little one on his/her back
  • Do not swaddle the baby
  • Place your baby on the outer part of the mattress away from duvets, blankets and pillows
  • Do not sleep with older children
  • Tie your hair back if long
  • Always keep in mind that the baby is on the bed with you.


Please note that development differs from one child to another. Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.|

Last reviewed March 2019 

Sources: healthlinkbc, caringforkids, ncbi.nlm.nih

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