How to Keep a Sleeping Baby Healthy

A baby only needs 3 things to sleep well and stay safe in the crib. What are they? The House Call Doctor explains.

Sanaz Majd, MD

Infants, unlike adults, require a firm sleep surface. Your baby’s crib should have nothing else but the following three layers: mattress, mattress pad, and a snug crib sheet. That’s it. The mattress should be firm and must fit snugly into the sleeping vessel. Make sure to not exceed the manufacturer’s maximum weight limits of each product as your baby grows. 

It may be tempting to adorn a crib with cute plush toys, pretty pillows, loose blankets, cuddly quilts/comforters, or even those colorful bumper pads that almost all venders sell in their crib sets. However, placing soft bedding to make baby more “comfortable” is an adult misperception. All those extras are really just for us adults—the baby could care less. Placing any object inside the crib is actually a risk factor for suffocation or entrapment, and increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) five-fold. 

I also don’t recommend using a borrowed crib since older cribs may not meet safety requirements. Instead, save money by not buying any of those potentially dangerous frills.

Baby image courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd, a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. She sees everything from pediatrics to geriatrics, but her special interests are women's health and patient education. She also loves to teach, and has been doing so since her college days.

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