In an emergency or disaster, parents may find themselves in a shelter or temporary home without a standard or portable crib for baby to sleep in. But even during difficult times, baby still needs a lot of sleep – safe sleep, that is.
Here are a few things to remember when providing your baby with a safe sleeping environment:
- The sleep surface must be flat and firm. For temporary sleeping, a laundry basket, box, carton or drawer would work for a baby up to two months old. Avoid softer surfaces such as pillows, cushions, sofas, air mattresses or futons.
- Avoid leaving baby in his car seat or carrier for sleeping. While safe for transporting, these items can suffocate if baby is left to sleep for extended periods of time.
- Place baby on his back, not his belly. The back sleeping position is the safest for all babies, including preterm ones.
- While space may be limited at your temporary location, it is important that baby sleeps alone. Co-sleeping is a leading cause of infant death.
- Avoid placing pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or other toys with baby. These items can put baby in danger of getting trapped, strangled or suffocated.
With baby sleeping comfortably and safely, it is also important for mom and dad to sleep, too! Caring for a little one is already demanding, but the stresses of the situation can intensify things. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps or take time to rest in between. For more information on safe sleep and caring for your baby, click here.