During a baby’s first months, parents usually want their child to be at their side at all times, especially at night. They want their newborn baby to be in the same room as theirs, and that is completely understandable, seeing that it is the best way to ensure that your child is safe. For this reason, the popularity of bassinets among new and old parents alike is also completely understandable. While more and more families use bassinets for their babies, according to reports, it is not entirely clear just how safe these things are.
It is important to take note that shopping for a baby bassinet is not a walk in the park. Not all of them are created equal – while some are almost entirely safe, others completely violate safety standards and should not be an option for your child. As a parent, you want to ensure that your children are safe, especially when you are resting yourself.
According to reports submitted to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from the years 1990 to 2004, 85% of the infants that died in a bassinet had suffocated, 74% had blankets, pillows, or plastic bags in the bassinet, 37% of the infants had been placed in the bassinet face-down, and 9 died because of a mechanical problem or incorrect use of the bassinet.
As you can see from the report, the most common cause of infant death in bassinets is the lack of knowledge of the parents/guardians in bassinet safety. When choosing and buying a bassinet or any other appliance meant for your newborn, it is important that you know safety practices to keep your child from harm or any injuries.
Here are important things to take note of for infant sleep safety:
Infants should sleep only on their backs at all sleep times until they turn 1. Parents usually worry about the baby choking when on their back, but it is actually a lot safer that having them sleep on their side. Sleeping on the side position allows them to roll easily onto their stomach, causing them to suffocate. Whenever they are going to sleep, always place your baby on their back in the bassinet.
Make sure that there are no other objects in the bassinet with them. Do not place blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or any of that sort around your baby when they are sleeping. These things may cause them to roll into any of them, causing blockage of airways and suffocation.
If your baby falls asleep on a soft, unreliable surface, like a car seat, stroller, swing, or sling, move them to a firmer sleeping surface as soon as possible. A bassinet or a crib is always a good idea, and meets the safety standards of the CPSC. Any hard surface that will not move when the baby is lying there is a good option. Also, take note of the previous reminder to not have anything else with the baby in the crib or bassinet.
Keep your baby in the same bedroom as you for the first 6 months to a year. It might have been a decision you made because of excitement of having your baby around you, but if you’re doing it already, then that is a good call. Keeping your baby in a crib, a bassinet, or a play yard in your bedroom is the best to keep them safe from harm.
Do not let your baby sleep on a couch, sofa, or any soft surfaces. In spite of these areas being soft, these are unsafe for the baby to sleep on. Remember, a hard surface is always the best for them.
Do not leave any toy attachment within your child’s reach. Some cribs and bassinets come with toy attachments, such as mobiles, that help entertain and soothe your baby to sleep. However, it’s important that these attachments are out of your baby’s reach, and should not have strings hanging out onto the bed, for these might strangle them.
Keep bassinet safety standards in mind. Make sure that the bassinet has a firm mattress where your baby sleeps on, and that the cover of the bedding should fit it tightly. The sides of the bassinet should also be made of breathable fabric, so that if ever your baby rolls over to the side, they don’t suffocate on it.
Always read instructions and warnings. Before buying a crib or a bassinet, make sure that you have read all special instructions and warnings, if there are any. There might be size requirements, etc., that you have to follow to ensure your baby’s safety.