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Your Baby Week One

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Updated July 16, 2014

4 of 10

Where Should Your Baby Sleep?
Newborn babies should sleep on their back, near their mother's bed.

Newborn babies should sleep on their back, in a bassinet, cradle, or crib, near their mother's bed.

Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD
New parents are often told to put their newborn babies to sleep wherever they sleep best.

That isn't always good advice though, as some new parents go so far as to let their babies sleep in a swing or car seat.

While a newborn won't necessarily pick up any bad habits at this age, such as if she is sleeping in a car seat, it isn't the safest place for her to sleep.

One study on cases of SIDS found that a small percentage of infants who died were seated in car seats. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't put your baby in a car seat when you are driving in the car. However, you likely should find a more appropriate place for your baby to sleep.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which advises against cosleeping, your baby should sleep:

  • in a bassinet, cradle, or crib that is near her mother's bed, but not in her bed.
  • on her back, not on her side or stomach.
  • on a firm sleep surface, such as a firm crib mattress, which has been covered by a well-fitted sheet.
  • without any soft objects (pillows and toys) or loose bedding (blankets and sheets) in her bassinet, cradle, or crib.

Getting your Baby to Sleep

If you are having trouble getting your baby to sleep in a crib, consider using a bassinet or cradle instead. A full-size crib is sometimes too big for a newborn.

Swaddling often helps babies get to sleep, stay asleep, and get comforted quickly, especially when they are newborns.

Sleep-Deprived Parents

To help make sure everyone gets enough sleep, parents should try to take turns caring for their baby at night, take naps during the day when their baby is sleeping, and get help from family and friends when possible.

Dad can help a breastfeeding mom get more rest at night by changing the baby's diaper, bringing her to mom for the feeding, and putting her back to bed.

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Where Should Your Baby Sleep?
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