(KUTV) Parents want to keep their babies safe and warm during the winter. However, even though it’s cold outside does not mean babies need additional layers to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that over bundling can actually lead to overheating and increase a baby’s risk of SIDS.
“We tragically lose about 3,500 babies annually in the United States to sleep related deaths,” says Rose Valencia, a registered nurse and NICU educator at Intermountain Utah Valley Hospital.
If your child seems cold, do not add additional layers or blankets. Instead, try heating up the room. This is because babies can get entrapped in their blankets and begin to suffocate.
Some clothing made specifically for sleep can also help keep baby safe while adding additional heat and comfort. Sleep clothing with a blanket attached ensures the blanket is not long enough to cover a baby’s head and face.
“You can still swaddle your baby in this blanket but once they’re able to roll over you want to decrease the swaddling,” says Valencia.
In addition, parents need to ensure their child’s sleep environment is as safe as possible. This includes having a firm sleeping surface with a fitted sheet. No loose blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, nor bumper pads should be present.
“When the baby’s in the bed, the only thing that should be in the bed is your baby,” reminds Valencia.
The last thing to remember is when you’re putting your child to sleep, always lie them down on their back.