Comment coucher bébé en toute sécurité dans son lit ou pour la sieste ? - Élhée

How to put your baby safely to bed or for a nap?

In the early 1990s, a major initiative by the French Ministry of Health marked a turning point in the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Indeed, successive awareness campaigns aimed at promoting sleeping babies on their backs led to a reduction of approximately 75% in the SIDS rate between 1991 and 1997. If the supine position remains the fundamental recommendation for safe sleep, Other measures exist to create an optimal safe and peaceful sleep environment for your baby.

👉 Let's discover together the list of key practices to know how to put your baby to bed safely.


The correct position of the infant, for a cloudless night

What's happier than a baby peacefully asleep, arms in the air, little fists clenched and totally relaxed? Nothing or not much. Also, to best support this abandonment, let's ask ourselves how to put it to bed for its comfort and your peace of mind .

In his very first months, the newborn is particularly vulnerable, even more so at night when his parents are also sleeping. This is why the French Pediatric Society and the WHO recommend always lying on your back, flat . Until the age of approximately one year, from which he knows how to turn in one direction or the other on his own, this position drastically reduces the risk of unexpected infant death (IND) .

Conversely, placing a baby who cannot turn around, on his stomach, facing the mattress, poses a risk of suffocation. Lying on his side, his position is no safer. Unstable, it makes it easier to tilt forward, onto your stomach or against the bars and bed bumper.

This is why, for complete rest time, parents and children with their heads in the stars, wherever you are , never deviate from the rule . On vacation, at grandma's or with friends, whether baby sleeps in a bed, in his cozy or in a cradle... it's always on his back . 😴

A consequence: flat head syndrome

Constantly sleeping, however, results in the onset of flat head syndrome, also called plagiocephaly . This is a more or less pronounced and rarely irreversible deformation of the back of the head of children who always sleep on their backs and/or always turn their heads to the same side when they are lying down.

To mitigate it, mobility is key . 💡

During waking hours, focus on tummy time games that help your child build muscle and hold his head up, change his position often and also change arms to give the breast or bottle . Finally, limit the time spent in the cozy or deckchair which is very practical, but relatively restrictive for baby.

Besides, have you ever heard of cushions to combat flat head or baby headrests? Opinions are divided about them. Beneficial and harmless on the one hand, useless and dangerous (and contrary to HAS recommendations regarding putting babies to bed ) on the other. No scientific proof has yet been provided as to their effectiveness.

A safe bed, for comfort that lasts

The cot with bars or the cradle should always be preferred for putting baby to sleep, on the one hand because they are designed to accommodate him in complete safety , on the other hand because they offer a firm bed with suitable dimensions .

Too soft, the mattress, the ottoman or the sofa, even during a nap, present a much greater risk of suffocation than a very flat mattress.

👉 When it comes to baby bedding, the choice is vast: bed with bars, convertible, cradle or bassinet... But two criteria remain essential, its solidity and the absence of spare parts. To help you, look for the mention of the European standards NF EN 716-1 and NF EN 716-2 on the packaging and check, where applicable, that the spacing of the bars is not greater than 6.5 cm (this to prevent baby from sticking his head in).

Bodysuit, pajamas and sleeping bag, the combo for perfect nights!

In the same way, the baby's bed must always remain empty apart from its comforter or pacifier. So no more duvets, sheets, bed bumpers, blankets and pillows or soft toys, in which he could get tangled, be hindered or suffocate.

To compensate for the absence of bed linen and ensure that baby will not be cold, bring a bodysuit and/or pajamas lined with a sleeping bag adapted to the size and season.

Fresh and uncluttered, this is how your baby's room should be

To sleep well, the ideal is to enjoy a quiet, uncluttered, cool and shaded bedroom. For your baby, it's the same thing: 19 degrees for a tidy and ventilated room every day , without the smell of cleaning products or tobacco residue nearby.

💡 At the same time, naps in daylight and nights in the dark will help your little one get their bearings in the day/night rhythm.

Please note: if you live with animals 🐕, 🐈 or 🐇, teach them even before the birth of your child to keep their hair outside their room in order to avoid, on the one hand, the risk of allergy and on the other hand, the invasion (even benevolent) of the bed.

The baby pacifier, your other safety ally?

Several studies have looked in recent years at a possible additional protective effect of pacifiers on babies' sleep. In New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, babies observed and who took the pacifier more systematically were significantly less affected by the risk of SIDS.

However, the potential protective mechanisms are neither clear nor scientifically proven . While it does not exempt the need to take other precautions , it appears that the pacifier encourages babies to stay on their backs, allows better ventilation between the mouth and nostrils and influences the regulation of heart rate and breathing, reducing the risks. accidental hypoxia.

The US Preventive Services Task Force , however, recommends systematically offering the pacifier at night and at all naps until the age of one. After which, baby will be able to learn to go back to sleep without .

Co-sleeping, a solution under surveillance

The principle of co-sleeping is to share your child's sleep, to sleep with him. However, and if this choice is up to you, take into account that co-sleeping, when practiced in the same bed, can increase the risk of sudden infant death . The reasons ? A mattress that is often too soft, several blankets, a large duvet, pillows or even the movements of parents while they sleep.

For greater safety, and because sleeping in the same room as your baby also has many advantages, co-sleeping beds exist. They are placed right against yours and offer a removable wall for easy access to your child, especially when breastfeeding.

You can also install the baby's cradle in your room and see and hear your little one at any time. We then talk about co-rooming 🧑‍🧑‍🧒 . And whatever your choice, always be vigilant about the following points:

  • do not consume sleeping pills, drugs or alcohol when you sleep with your child,
  • avoid pajamas cords and long or sharp jewelry that could wrap around baby or injure him,
  • do not take two babies at the same time in your bed,
  • prohibit access to your animals ,
  • make sure your newborn cannot slip or fall out of bed and make sure the co-sleeping bed is secure , with a suitable mattress.
An ancestral practice widespread in many cultures and whose first traces date back to prehistory, co-sleeping consists of young mothers keeping their baby close to them day and night, during the first 6 months of life. . Soothing for parents and children alike, co-sleeping provides better sleep for the whole family, creates, establishes or strengthens the parent-child bond and facilitates breastfeeding . For young parents, it is also a source of wonder.

In summary, the right actions for babies' sleep

  • Always lay your baby on their back.
  • Practice co-rooming, or co-sleeping while exercising great vigilance.
  • Leave your bed empty, without blankets, pillows or stuffed animals.
  • Have him wear a bodysuit or pajamas and a sleeping bag in his size, appropriate for the season and nothing else.
  • Choose a firm mattress that he cannot sink into.
  • Maintain the room at approximately 19 degrees.
  • Do not smoke or use chemical cleaners near baby.
  • Once breastfeeding is well established or from 4 weeks, offer him a physiological pacifier which can accompany his sleep .

If putting your newborn to sleep on their back and without a blanket is essential for the first few months, also trust your instinct to know what is good for your child. Watch him sleep, take inspiration from his natural postures, his moments of well-being and feedback from the mothers around you, to create the safest and most serene cocoon for him.


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