New parents often feel uncertain about the best way to keep a baby safe during sleep. They wonder whether it's all right to use a hand-me down crib, what kind of covers a baby needs, whether to put baby down on his/her back or abdomen. The most up-to-date research indicates that the following precepts are good guidelines for parents:
* Arrange a separate sleeping place for the baby if at all possible.
* Babies must be placed on their backs to sleep, as this has been shown to reduce risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.
* Don't let the baby sleep in an adult water bed, on a "beanbag" sleeping cushion filled with polystyrene foam beads or a sheepskin.
* Keep the room where the baby sleeps comfortably warm (not hot), and don't use heavy blankets that restrict his/her movement.
* Crib slats must be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart, so the baby's head can't get caught, and fill in any space between the mattress and the crib sides.
* Don't smoke and don't allow visitors who smokes in the home.