Pediatricians, moms and authors, Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP offer a wealth of "parent-tested, pediatrician-approved" advice in Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, Second Edition (American Academy of Pediatrics, September 2010). Available on the American Academy of Pediatrics official Web site for parents, HealthyChildren.org. Also available in bookstores nationwide.
The following is an excerpt to help you navigate those first crucial weeks of parenthood and caring for a newborn:
The reality of SIDS: Creating a Safe Sleep Environment.
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), sometimes called crib death, is the sudden, unexplained death of an otherwise healthy baby during the first year... there are simple things you can do to create a safer sleep environment for your newborn right from the start.
Be Safe. Play it safe by making sure that you and anyone else who cares for your baby always puts him down to sleep on his back.
Be Firm. This means making sure your baby always sleeps on a firm surface. Make sure your crib meets all safety standards, and that the crib mattress fits securely in the crib. Being firm also means keeping all soft items out of your baby's crib-including such tempting but potentially dangerous items as fluffy blankets, stuffed animals, and soft or pillow-like bumpers.
Stay Cool. Overheating increases the risk of SIDS. Dress your baby is lightweight sleep clothing.
Clear the air. Keep the air your baby breathes smoke-free, both to reduce the risk of SIDS but also for your babay's overall health!
Provide a pacifier. During your baby's first year, consider offering him a pacifier when he is falling asleep. If you are breastfeeding we recommend waiting until nursing is going well (about 1 month) before introducing the pacifier.
Share a room. The AAP recommends sleeping in the same room but not the same bed as your baby for at least the first 6 months. This can make breastfeeding easier while at the same time help protect your baby from SIDS.
*Book excerpt from Heading Home with Your Newborn (Second Edition/Copyright 2010/American Academy of Pediatrics).
The Heading Home with Your Newborn excerpts are sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network.