Babies and toddlers need a lot of sleep for their growth and development. It is during sleep that growth happens and the body repairs itself from damages caused by stress and exhaustion. Sleep also enables the body to recover from free radical damage kids get from negative emotions, pollution, and the food they eat.
However, there are also taboos we must avoid to make sure our babies and toddlers sleep safely, and which are often overlooked, such as the following:
- Sleeping on their bellies. Babies and kids should not sleep on their bellies or flipped with their backs facing up. Chances are, more pressure would be exerted on the chest, making the heart beat harder. Worse, if the face of the baby or toddler is buried in the pillow, it may result to lethal suffocation.
Sometimes, infants or tots fall easily asleep in a flipped position. If you should opt for this, never leave them alone sleeping. Make sure that their faces are not buried in or covered by the pillow.
- Having loose threads or strings close to them. Long loose threads or strings lying idly around can accidentally get caught around the fingers or toes of babies or toddlers during sleep and tighten up, stifling the flow of blood. In certain situations where the situation is prolonged, this could be lethal and there have been a number of cases that resulted in death. [INPOSTLB]
Also, make sure that anything that can strangle, such as belts, long shoe strings, cords, long cloths, etc., isn’t anywhere near them. Babies and toddlers often turn and toss around a lot when they sleep, making objects that can wrap around them dangerous for them.
- Using big blankets. If it’s cold and babies or tots need blankets, make sure to watch them closely while they’re asleep. As kids turn this and that way during sleep, blankets can wrap around them and cover their faces, which again can result to suffocation in prolonged periods.
- Open wall sockets. Don’t leave toddlers sleeping alone in their rooms, not even babies that are able to crawl to places. They may suddenly wake up and wander around the room and find wall outlets fun to play with. They may become curious and insert things into them, including their tiny fingers, and get electrocuted.
- High risks of falling. If babies old enough to stand up and crawl are left sleeping in their cribs, they may wake up and climb up the crib and fall on the floor if they are left alone. Or, if they are left sleeping on a soft mattress on the floor and suddenly wake up and wander around, they might fall off the stairs.
In short, always have someone watching babies or kids closely, even when they are asleep. Just a few moments of distraction, like answering a phone call and being absorbed in the conversation, may prove lethal. Knowing what may endanger them will also help you become more aware about how to follow safe sleep practices for your baby.