5 Safe Sleep Rules Youre Probably Breaking

Parenting 2023-10-20

Here are some unscratched sleep rules we don’t need to unravel on a regular understructure to make sure our little lamb is snug and unscratched as a bug in a rug.

When I was pregnant with my firstborn I lived in Scotland. I had a midwife, in fact, I never saw a doctor that whole pregnancy. Not plane at delivery.

My midwife gave me some things early on that helped me tremendously. First, she gave me a DVD (yes, a dvd!) on how to get a good latch. Second, she told me well-nigh unscratched sleep in no uncertain terms. Unappetizing no surface, no fluff, no decorations, nothing.

She said in the ten years since they’d recommended this, SIDS occurrences had decreased 90%.

We had a few hairy nights when I depended upon my own swaddling skills and was unbearably yellow-eyed all night. So I swapped to this swaddle and that was it.

This topic is tropical to my heart, considering I come into contact with so many parents who are using unsafe sleep practices. Sometimes it is from misinformation or lack of awareness, but increasingly often, it’s from sheer desperation.

The numbers are heartbreaking

The numbers are clear, well-nigh 3,500 infants die from sleep related causes every year, including SIDS. A young victual is far increasingly likely to die from SIDS or SUID while sleeping in a grown-up’s bed (check out the vestige and the difference between SIDS/SUID here).

As villainous and heart-wrenching as those statistics are, if there is any good news in it, it’s that through prevention and education, many potential future deaths can be avoided.

Know that this list isn’t to condemn you or judge you for decisions you’ve made in the past. It’s just my hope that with some uneaten education AND support for unquestionably implementing these rules in tough situations, that our babies will all be a little safer.

This vendible is not a comprehensive list of unscratched sleep practices. But is a list of the unscratched sleep practices I most wontedly see wrenched and the reasons this often happens, so that I can help you icon out what to do instead.

Because it’s one thing to KNOW the safe-sleep rule, but it’s an entirely variegated thing to unquestionably follow it when it turns out pursuit it ways uncounted nights of no sleep.

28 things to try if victual won't sleep, victual in crib
28 Things To Do If Victual Won’t Sleep CHECKLIST

Fast, simple, and free strategies to implement if victual can’t get to sleep, won’t *stay* asleep, or is unsettled in general.

#1 Victual should unchangingly sleep on a unappetizing surface

This is one of the most fundamental recommendations for unscratched sleep. With the invention and promotion of so many victual products that enable upright sleeping positions it’s not uncommon for some babies to not do any of their sleep on a unappetizing surface.

Instead, they’re using things like the rock’n play, or will-less victual bouncers like the Mamaroo, or just a vital victual swing. Plane though these products specifically say they are not for sleep, and that babies should unchangingly be supervised, this is often disregarded.

Why breaking it is so dangerous:

A victual sleeping in an upright position is at risk of having his throne tilt forward so much that it cuts off his airway and blocks his breathing. There is moreover the less dangerous but very real risk of victual developing flathead (positional plagiocephaly.)

Why we unravel it anyway

Baby won’t sleep anywhere else. They seem to want to be upright, or at least tilted up, and cuddled up more, like in the swing or rock’n play. Or, victual falls unconsciousness in the car seat or stroller and is not transferred. Also, motion will lull the babies to sleep when nothing else works.

It’s not deep restorative sleep, equal to studies, but at least they aren’t screaming!

Another worldwide reason is that your victual has reflux. This is such a tough one, considering they seem truly uncomfortable laying unappetizing on their backs. They moreover often need to be kept awake without feeds, which can contribute to over-tiredness, making sleep plane harder.

Read: How to Stop Contact Naps (Peacefully)- and What to Do Instead


Make sure you swaddle your victual securely and safely, so that they have the repletion of the womb and their startle reflex is in check. Follow wake times to make sure overtiredness isn’t contributing to their inability to sleep flat.

Also, when transferring a sleeping victual from your stovepipe to the crib, have his feet touch the mattress first, not his shoulders or throne (which can make babies finger like they’re falling and trigger the startle reflex.)

If you’re finding safe-sleep untellable with your newborn considering of genuine reflux, talk well-nigh the options for medication with your pediatrician. Continue holding victual upright without feeds, but then place him lanugo on his back.

28 things to try if victual won't sleep, victual in crib
28 Things To Do If Victual Won’t Sleep CHECKLIST

Fast, simple, and free strategies to implement if victual can’t get to sleep, won’t *stay* asleep, or is unsettled in general.

baby unscratched sleeping on a unappetizing surface

#2 Victual should unchangingly sleep on a firm surface

Along with sleeping on a unappetizing surface, it should moreover be firm. So, this ways never place your victual to sleep on a couch, waterbed, memory foam mattress, pillow of any kind, Boppy, etc.

The only things tried for sleep by the AAP is anything labeled with “crib”, “bassinet”, or “play yard”.

Why breaking it is so dangerous:

Baby’s throne can make an indentation. This ways they could situate their squatter into it. Of course, this potentially leads to suffocation or creating a little air-pocket in which they can re-breathe their own carbon-dioxide.

Why we unravel it anyway

This one is sometimes unwittingly not followed. Mom may fall unconsciousness on the hovel or memory foam mattress while nursing the baby. Other times, parents think their child will be increasingly well-appointed on a softer surface, not realizing this is unsafe.


Always trammels to make sure the surface your victual is sleeping on is tried for BABY sleep. If the product has the word “crib”, “bassinet” or “play yard” in it, it is approved.

Make sure to stay awake while feeding the victual and, if you fall unconsciousness with the victual on an unsafe surface, as soon as you realize it, transfer the victual to a unscratched sleep space.

28 things to try if victual won't sleep, victual in crib
28 Things To Do If Victual Won’t Sleep CHECKLIST

Fast, simple, and free strategies to implement if victual can’t get to sleep, won’t *stay* asleep, or is unsettled in general.

baby sleeping on firm surface

#3 Victual should unchangingly be placed to sleep on their when for sleep

When the AAP started recommending when for sleep, instead of tummy or side position, SIDS deaths decreased by 40% in a 2 year span. That is a pretty incredible result.

Even so, when parents are drastic and babies will unquestionably sleep on their tummies… they let them. One reason babies sleep on their tummies is they are not worldly-wise to startle themselves awake. Swaddling will succeed the same thing, but safely.

Why breaking it is so dangerous

Research isn’t well-spoken well-nigh exactly why tummy sleep is such a SIDS risk. It could be considering a tummy sleeper is increasingly likely to outbreathe into the mattress. This creates a pocket of air where they are re-breathing their own carbon-dioxide. This is one of the leading theories on the rationalization of SIDS.

Who knows why, but research is well-spoken that when sleeping reduces the risk drastically.

Why we unravel it anyway

Some babies sleep much largest on their tummies, and parents are drastic for sleep. Also, some parents worry well-nigh a victual with reflux choking on their own spit up.


Put victual to sleep on their backs and teach them to self-settle. Again, swaddling and pursuit wake-times is extremely important to make sure they are transmissible their platonic “sleep wave” and not going to sleep overtired.

Also, make sure their sleep environment is optimal.

Some babies who prefer tummy sleep might moreover goody from a swaddle or sleep sack like the Nested Bean, which puts a gentle value of pressure on their chests, similar to what they finger with their chest versus the mattress.

In regards to choking on their spit up, thankfully no research has shown this to be a risk considering babies have preventative mechanisms to prevent choking. Babies may cough a little, but they don’t unquestionably wring (choking = obstructed airway). So you can rest unpreventable they are unscratched on their backs.

28 things to try if victual won't sleep, victual in crib
28 Things To Do If Victual Won’t Sleep CHECKLIST

Fast, simple, and free strategies to implement if victual can’t get to sleep, won’t *stay* asleep, or is unsettled in general.

baby safely sleeping in dads arms

#4 Babies should room-share but not bed-share

I go into room sharing strategies here, but this is important to mention.

Though bed-sharing can be washed-up in a unscratched way, there are so many specific guidelines to follow to make it unscratched that most parents are not doing it safely. In fact, much of bed sharing is unquestionably done in reaction to victual not sleeping.

Not as a proactive choice. And to be fair, sleeping with victual in a bed is still safer than falling unconsciousness with victual on a sofa.

The scary reality is that the risk of SIDS skyrockets for babies who are sleeping in sultana beds unsafely. Mainly considering there are too many big blankets and pillows around, the bed is up upper and up versus a wall, and parents are extremely exhausted.

The risk goes up plane higher if there is any smoking, alcohol, obesity, or vacuum (hello new parents!). People who recommend bed-sharing make the theorizing that this will help everyone get MORE sleep.

But the reality is that bed-sharing often leads to lattermost exhaustion, which is one of the HUGE safety risks of bed-sharing.

Why breaking it is so dangerous

Bed-sharing increases willy-nilly death by SIDS by up to 40%. This is mostly considering of the risk of rolling on top of your baby. Also, victual can get wedged between the mattress and a wall. Other reasons include victual having too many pillows and blankets near his face, or victual overheating.

Why we unravel it anyway

Some babies will only sleep tying to their milk source, substantially replacing their minion mommy pacifier all night. Other reasons include cultural norms, wanting uneaten bonding at night, and that it’s easier to breastfeed.


Unless you’re going to follow every single guideline for unscratched bed-sharing, please just yank the line. Do not pull your victual into bed with you when you know you’ll fall asleep, expressly if you’re sleep deprived.

But I’ll say it again, falling unconsciousness with victual in your bed is still safer than falling unconsciousness with victual in a recliner, chair, or sofa. So please weigh these risks with your doctor.

Work towards encouraging healthy sleep habits from the beginning. Alimony your baby in a co-sleeper right next to you, if that helps requite you peace of mind.

#5 Do not put anything in the crib or trundle with the baby

Tiny little babies in their big cribs, or plane just their empty bassinets can seem so…lonely. It can be tempting to add some cute stuffed animals, a warm blanket, or comfy pillow to help them finger increasingly cozy.

But, this truly goes versus the vital unscratched sleep recommendations from the AAP.

Their cribs or bassinets should be basically empty besides the victual and what victual is wearing.

This includes any victual positioners, wedges, or large “loungers” like the Dock-a-tot and the SnuggleMe. Resist the temptation to put the cute stuffed withstand from Grandma in there. Except for a quick photo op, of course. Blankets used to securely swaddle or tightly tucked in (not loose) can be used.

Why breaking it is so dangerous

Having things like bumpers, pillows, loose blankets, or stuffed animals in the crib increases the risk of victual overheating. Or unwittingly creating that air-pocket where they re-breathe their own carbon-dioxide.

Thin blankets and the ties of bumpers are moreover a strangulation risk.

baby sleeping with wrap nearly over squatter not unscratched sleep

Why we unravel it anyway

I remember going into a victual shop in Australia and asking for a crib bumper. She asked how old my victual was and, when I told her, she said, “No, we don’t sell them for babies until they’re 1.” I honestly hadn’t known, but was so glad she told me.

Crib bumpers are still sold and seem cute and cozy and some parents, like myself, didn’t know. Or parents might finger bumpers are necessary for a victual who bangs their throne on the crib slats or gets limbs stuck between the slats.

Sometimes parents want to provide increasingly warmth or repletion by subtracting blankets and pillows. Parents often overestimate how warm a victual needs to be.

What to do instead

Resist the urge. Focus on dressing victual properly for warmth, and know that babies don’t unquestionably need pillows for sleep. If you use a blanket, make sure it’s tucked into the mattress lower than baby’s shoulders and not loose.

baby in empty crib
28 things to try if victual won't sleep, victual in crib
28 Things To Do If Victual Won’t Sleep CHECKLIST

Fast, simple, and free strategies to implement if victual can’t get to sleep, won’t *stay* asleep, or is unsettled in general.

What Well-nigh These Products…

Here are some increasingly specific things, while we’re at it.

Baby sleep positioners

While playing and hanging out? Sure. While napping or sleeping? Nope. Not unscratched plane to alimony victual on his back. These are made of soft materials that are basically little pillows, therefore, not safe, equal to the AAP.

If victual is rolling himself to his vitals or side it’s okay to let him sleep that way, but he should start off on his back.

A wrap for warmth

There is no need. Just use a swaddle and warmer pajamas, as needed. One uneaten layer of suit increasingly than what you’re wearing is fine, if you’re concerned. Finger their ears to see if they truly are cold, and if so, add a onesie under their pajamas, turn up the thermostat slightly, or get a thicker swaddle.

A victual that is too warm is moreover at an increased risk for SIDS, so remove layers if they are sweating or their chest feels hot to the touch.

The Dock-a-tot?!

Ok, don’t send me hate mail for this. I know a lot of moms swear by the Dock-a-tot for improving their newborn’s sleep, but someone’s gotta say it. Dock-a-tots are NOT unscratched for unsupervised sleep. I know this is nonflexible to hear for moms who had one of those babies who started magically sleeping through the night without introducing one of these.

As I dug deeper into the Dock-a-tot’s claims well-nigh it stuff a safe-sleep option, it’s mostly based on it stuff a flat, firm(ish) surface. And it stuff made out of a “breathable” material, which sounds good, but in reality, “breathability” is not a term monitored by the AAP or verifiable in any way.

Even “breathable” materials can create that air-pocket where they are re-breathing their own carbon-dioxide.

Again, the only things tried for sleep by the AAP is anything labeled “crib”, “bassinet”, or “play-yard”.

Bouncer”, “napper”, “lounger”, etc. are cleverly thought-out marketing terms but are definitely NOT tried for sleep.

For lounging, playing, and relaxing? YES. For sleeping? NO.

Is the Mamaroo safe?

It’s unscratched to sit victual in. To let victual waddle and swing and play in. It is not unscratched to put victual in for their naps and certainly not for their nighttime sleep. Not only is it not flat, firm, and unable to indulge victual to sleep on their back, it moreover swings and any movement keeps victual into lighter sleep.

You can use it to get some self-ruling hands and let siblings play and petting with baby, but not for sleep.

Nap Times Cheat Sheet

Learn how to space naps, how many a day per age, weightier times, etc. and get your nap game ON!

Let me end this mega post by saying this….

You can teach your little one to sleep without having to go through tricks and do things that are unsafe. It isn’t worth stuff stressed, anxious, worried, and losing sleep over.

Babies can sleep unconfined in a unscratched environment – it can take some worth, but it’s totally worth it.

Questions well-nigh unscratched victual sleep

What is the safest sleep position for my baby?

On your baby’s back. Place your victual lanugo to sleep on their back. When they start to roll virtually on their own, you don’t need to place them on their when again, but you will need to make sure they arent swaddled by then.

How should I set up the crib or sleep environment to ensure safety?

You want fitted sheets, no toys, lovies, etc. for newborns. Cribs need to be self-ruling from any material that victual can put their squatter into and not be worldly-wise to breathe. A nice clean, firm mattress without anything else in the crib.

Are there specific items I should stave placing in the crib during sleep?

Yep, everything. Alimony the crib empty. It’s for sleep only.