Sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of death for infants in the first year of life, according to MayoClinic.com. Among the risk factors for SIDS is the unsafe use of blankets or bedding. A sleep sack, a type of wearable blanket, can be used to keep your baby comfortable while reducing the risk of SIDS. It is important to understand how to use sleep sacks safely to protect your baby.
Blankets can be dangerous for your baby to use during her first year. If the blanket gets pulled too close to her face, she can have a hard time breathing, which is one cause of SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that sleep sacks and other wearable blankets are a better alternative than regular blankets to keep your baby warm.
Although sleep sacks are useful for keeping your baby warm, they can become dangerous if your baby is too warm while sleeping, which is also a contributing factor to SIDS. Remove the sleep sack if your baby shows signs of being too warm, such as sweating or flushed cheeks and rapid breathing. Avoid using the sleep sack in a room where the temperature is already comfortable or warm and only put it on your baby in situations where you think a regular blanket would be necessary.
Keep the sleep sack safe for your baby to use by washing it regularly to remove dust and allergens that your little one could breathe in while sleeping. Use a gentle detergent that is less likely to irritate your baby's skin, such as one with no added fragrances or dyes. Keep the sleep sack stored in a clean area away from pets or cigarette smoke.
To maximize your baby's safety while sleeping, always put him to sleep on his back. MayoClinic.com also recommends that your baby always sleep alone. Avoid the use of additional blankets and bedding other than the sleep sack, and make sure everyone who cares for your baby knows how to use the sleep sack safely.