What is next to your little one's skin is a critical topic for us and so are the foundations of creating a safe sleep environment. With that in mind, we have ten helpful tips and suggestions to ensure safe sleep for for naptime and bedtime:
- Always place your little one on their back to sleep. When you lay your little one down for a nap or for sleep at night, always place your little one on their back and monitor your little one to be sure that your little one doesn’t roll over while swaddled. If your little one is showing signs of beginning to roll or is able to roll over on his or her own, he or she may roll over in their sleep from their back to their stomach or side. This can happen as early as 8 weeks of age. If you are using the swaddling method, and/or using your Ollie, it is crucial to either stop swaddling all together or use your Ollie Swaddle as a transition swaddle with one or both arms out once you little one reaches this monumental milestone in their development. If your little one is able to roll back-and-forth on their own, there isn’t a need to return your little one to his or her back.
- Room share with your little one. Your little one is safest in his or her own bed and should not share a bed with you. It is recommended to share a room with your little one and that the crib or bassinet be in your room for at least the first 3-6 months.
- Ensure a firm sleep surface. Sometimes we want our little ones to be “comfy” but rest assured that your little one is much safer on a firm sleep surface than a fluffy one – like on a pillow or comforter. A simple crib mattress or pack-and-play is perfect.
- Free your crib from pillows, blankets and toys. Your little one's crib should never have any pillows, blankets or bumper pads. Loose blankets could cover your baby’s face and increase the risk of suffocation. If you’re concerned about your little one trying to stick a leg or arm through the crib and getting stuck, you can use a mesh crib liner instead of the padded bumpers.
- Try not to let your little one become overheated. As mentioned above, there should never be blankets in your little one's crib. If you’re concerned about your little one being warm during the winter, opt for socks and footie pajamas for warmth. Your Ollie Swaddle combined with our NEW Dailies bodysuit creates a safe sleep system and our custom patented moisture wicking material will help to keep your little one dry, avoiding overheating.
- Breastfeed or pump and bottle-feed. Your breast milk is tailored to the needs of you little one and provides antibodies that help fight off infection.
- Consider offering a pacifier. As with all things, there are pros and cons to offering a pacifier. But, if you only offer a pacifier during naps and at bedtime, it can be beneficial in preventing SIDS according to some studies.
- Consult your pediatrician. Your little one’s health and well-being are your number one priority, so take advantage of your pediatrician’s office. Attend all well check-ups and be sure to ask any questions no matter how trivial they may seem. Most pediatricians’ offices also have an after-hours nurse line that you can call at night or on weekends.
- Keep clear from smokers. Second-hand smoke is extremely dangerous for little ones and has been found to contribute to an increased risk of SIDS. A relatively new term, third-hand smoke is just as dangerous. Third-hand smoke is a term for residual contamination that lingers on walls, toys and clothes.
- Avoid sleep positioners or sleep aids. This includes items that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS and goes back to number three. A flat, firm surface is the best for your baby’s safety.
Swaddling is a positive sleep association and with consistency and repetition. Your Ollie can become a cue for your little one that it is time for sleep and soothing. There are four key elements to look at to ensure that you are swaddling safely and properly when using your Ollie swaddle:
Your Ollie is designed to be placed directly below the shoulders so there is no constraint on the shoulder joints and also to ensure there is no fabric around the neck or face. This is an essential step and is the most important in creating a safe and proper fit.
For usage, we start by looking at the very first hook and loop velcro connection. This is the most important one because it sets the tone for the rest of the swaddle. This is where you want to create that really nice snug fit. Pull the Ollie snug directly across your little one’s torso. This step will help to keep the Ollie in place while your little one is swaddled. After the first velcro connection, you’ll connect the second velcro by pulling it in a down and over motion, so that it fully attaches to its connecting piece. Then you’ll connect the third, which will be looser, since it is around the hip area. After you put on the swaddle, you might need to go back to the first velcro and re-attach and pull just a bit more tightly, to help ensure the snugness. I know it can be scary and intimidating, but the snugness actually helps to mimic the womb and is soothing for your little one. You will find that you are still able to stick your hand down at the top, as well.
The Ollie logo acts as a guide to aide in gaining the proper fit and should always be centered in the middle of the chest, 2-3 inches below the center of your little one’s shoulders.
Always tie the elastic loop directly below your little one’s feet. This step is very important as the elastic loop helps to keep the ollie in place and helps the Ollie remain in place throughout the night, even if your little one is an active sleeper. If your little one wiggles or kicks a lot, it might be helpful to wrap the elastic around the fabric twice, rather than just once, as this can add another extra layer of security. Your elastic loop is carefully sewn into the inside of your Ollie, eliminating the opportunity for becoming misplaced.