In the first month, your baby may sleep for about 15 of every 24 hours. Your baby will usually not sleep longer than two or three hours at a time. In the early days it is common for babies to wake up several times a night. Breastfeeding is the best way to get your baby back to sleep. Over time, your baby will gradually sleep longer during the night.
Safety and Sleeping
SIDS is the sudden and unexpected death of a healthy baby. The following recommendations reduce the risk of SIDS and accidental death due to infants being trapped between two surfaces or suffocating during sleep:
- Every sleep counts! Nap time, night time, home or away
- When your baby is sleeping outside the home, plan ahead to make sure your baby’s sleep area is safe.
- Play pens, play yards, strollers, swings, and other infant carriers aren’t designed for babies to sleep in. If your baby falls asleep in any of these, watch your baby until he/she can be moved to a safe sleep surface.
- Car seats are designed for transporting infants safely while in a moving vehicle. If your baby falls asleep in a car seat, transfer him/her to a safe sleep surface when you are done traveling.
- Always place your baby on his/her back, in a crib for every sleep
- Keep the crib beside parents’ bed for the first six months
- Your baby is safest when his/her sleeping area is close but separate from where you sleep.
- Use a crib, cradle, or bassinet that has a firm mattress, a tight-fitting sheet and no bumper pads, pillows, heavy blankets or toys
- Your baby and a light blanket should be the only things in your baby’s sleeping area.
- Use a crib, cradle or bassinet that meets Canadian safety regulations
- Keep your baby’s environment smoke-free during pregnancy and after birth
- Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of SIDS.
- Breastfeed your baby, as this protects against SIDS
- If you bring your baby into bed to breastfeed, it is best to place your baby back in his/her crib after breastfeeding.
- Prevent your baby from over-heating
- Dress your baby in a sleeper or sleep sack. No toques or hats indoors.
- If using a light blanket, tuck it firmly under the bottom and sides of the mattress with baby’s arms free.
- Room temperature should be comfortable for an adult.
- Do not swaddle your baby.
- Never let your baby sleep on a sheepskin, pillow-top mattress, waterbed, couch, sofa, armchair, recliner, or any adult bed
- It is best to not share a bed with your baby
- Place your baby’s crib away from windows, heat sources, lamps, curtains, blinds, and electrical plugs and cords.
The safest place for your baby to sleep is on his/her back, in a crib beside your bed. Babies who share a bed or sleep surface with adults, children or pets are at risk for SIDS and accidental death. The risk is greater for a baby sharing a bed if adults in the bed smoke; have recently consumed alcohol, drugs, or medications that may make them drowsy; are unaware the baby is in the bed; or if any pillows, blankets, duvets, or toys are in the bed. Babies who share a bed are also at greater risk for injury and accidental death due to falling out of the bed or getting trapped between the mattress and wall or bed frame.