Today I'm going to talk about 1- what a safe sleep environment looks like and 2- what things you can do to create a sleep environment for optimal sleep.
Always follow the AAP's current recommendations for sleep and make sure you aren't using any recalled products. Inclined "sleepers" are not a safe sleep space. https://www.consumerreports.org/child-safety/all-infant-inclined-sleep-products-should-be-recalled-consumer-reports-says/
Safe sleep checklist:
Sleep space is labeled as a crib, play yard or bassinet. Dock-a-tots, or any kind of positional devices are not safe for sleep.
Crib mattress is firm and flat with a tight fitting sheet.
There are no gaps in between the mattress and nothing else in the crib- no blankets, stuffed animals, bumpers, etc.
The crib should be an arms length away from any windows or furniture.
There shouldn't be any cords, monitors, mobiles or toys hanging on the crib.
A baby should transition out of a bassinet when they are able to roll or reach the height/weight limits.
Swaddling should be secured with velcro or a zipper and stopped at the first sign of rolling.
Always place your baby on their back until they are able to roll over. Once they are able to roll over you do NOT need to out them back over on to their back. Offer lots of tummy time so they can master this skill during the day.
If your baby falls asleep anywhere other than a safe sleep space, move them as soon as you can. If they fall asleep in a car seat move them as soon as you get to your destination.
Sleep environment for optimal sleep:
I highly recommend a sound machine. White noise can be calming for a baby and block out other sounds in the house. It is also a cue for them that it is time to go to sleep. White noise should be a constant sound that does not change in tone and be placed away from the crib. Please keep in mind decibels when finding a sound machine and not turning it all the way up. I recommend this sound machine-https://marpac.com/collections/for-baby/products/dohm-classic-for-baby.
Black out curtains will help keep out light so your little one can sleep better. Even a little bit of light can suppress melatonin, a hormone that helps us sleep. I recommend these black out curtains https://www.blackoutez.com.
Naps and nighttime sleep should be taken in the same place if possible. This will help your baby associate their sleeping space, with going to sleep.
A night light is not necessary. As mentioned above any light will suppress the hormone that helps us sleep.