October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month, created to help prevent the nearly 4,000 unexpected and unexplained infant deaths that occur in the United States each year. Hindi Zeidman, creator of The Ollie Swaddle, wants to help parents keep baby safe and comfortable while sleeping:
- When room sharing, it is best for your infant to sleep in a separate sleeping area to avoid the risks of rolling over or suffocation, which can occur with bed sharing.
- The supine (or laying on the back) is the safest sleep position for your infant, unless otherwise directed by your infant’s pediatrician. Unaccustomed tummy sleeping increases the risk of SIDS by 18 times over babies under 12 months old who are used to sleeping on their backs.
- Your infants sleeping area should be clutter free (free of blankets, pillows, or plush toys) and sheets should fit tightly around the mattress. Steer clear of using a pillow top mattress or mattress pads, as it could lead to suffocation if the baby rolls to his tummy.
- Your infant should sleep in a safety approved crib with a firm mattress. Do not use items like wedges or special sleep surfaces that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- To protect your infant, only use bedding and clothing made of non-toxic flame-resistant materials free from drawstrings and ribbons that might catch. Buttons and snaps should be securely attacked to prevent choking hazards.
- Avoid overheating baby. Insure the room has good air flow. If the room seems stuffy, use a small fan or open a window to provide fresh air. Keep the room temperature around 70 degrees.
- If you use a pacifier at nap or bedtime, make sure it doesn’t have a cord or clip that might cause choking or strangulation.
- Avoid using blankets at nap or bed time, babies should sleep in a wearable blanket or similar. Swaddling is a safe way for your baby to sleep and has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Babies should sleep in a smoke free environment. This includes not sharing a bed with an adult smoker. Smoking increases the risk of SIDS.
- Educate people who care for your baby about safe sleep practices. You have every right to insist family members and care givers follow your instructions.
The Ollie Swaddle was named after and invented for a baby boy named Oliver, a foster baby that wasn’t thriving until Ollie Swaddle founder (and his foster mom) Hindi developed The Ollie Swaddle. It improves quality and duration of sleep for all babies (including preemies and high risk), reduces fussiness and helps babies self-calm. Its elasticity allows for freedom of movement, while the opening at the bottom makes it easy to change diapers. The custom developed moisture wicking material reduces overheating promoting physiological regulation. Perfect for ages 0-4 months.
These safe sleeping suggestions from Hindi Zeidman are reprinted with permission, in the interest of teaching parents the importance of safe sleeping habits for their babies and in loving memory of all babies lost to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.