Safe Sleep for a Long Winter's Nap

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'Twas the night before Christmas ... and if you or someone in your family are settling your baby down for a long winter's nap while you're traveling for the holidays, it's important to make sure there's always a safe space for your baby to sleep.

One baby dies nearly every other day in Michigan while sleeping in an adult bed, armchair or couch; with pillows or blankets; or with adults or other children. These deaths are 100 percent preventable with a safe sleep environment, and it's important to know that all members caring for your baby during holiday travel—grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles—know how to put a baby to sleep safely.

Share these tips with family members and babysitters for safe sleep during every nap and nighttime routine.

1. Place baby on her back in a crib, bassinet, or pack and play. When babies sleep on their backs, their airways are more protected than if they were sleeping on their stomachs.

2. Keep your baby's sleep environment clutter-free (no pillows, blankets or toys). She could suffocate if she becomes entangled.

3. Plan ahead and take a portable crib with you when traveling. It's unsafe for babies to sleep in beds or on couches, armchairs or cushions. Babies could roll on their own and end up in a dangerous place—such as stuck between the mattress and headboard, or pressed up against a sofa cushion.

4. Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet. Babies could become entangled in loosely fitting sheets and suffocate.

5. Avoid covering the baby's head and don't overheat her. Instead of a blanket, use a sleep sack, wearable blanket or footed sleeper to keep her warm. Babies need only as much clothing as adults to keep warm; dress them in as much or as little clothing as you're wearing.

Information from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.


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