You are not alone if you have questions about how to keep your infant safe while they sleep. Here you will find answers to some of the most common questions and concerns that many parents have. Remember to talk to your healthcare provider about your questions and concerns.
Can twins (multiple babies) sleep in the same crib?
Most experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommend placing babies in separate cribs from the start for all naps and nighttime sleeping. Babies sleeping together can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation.
Twins are also more likely to be born prematurely or have low birth weights, both of which can put them at an increased risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths.
It can be hard to fit two cribs into one bedroom, especially since it is recommended that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six to 12 months. Smaller bassinets and portable cribs can help save space.
When your babies are sleeping remember that they each should sleep in a crib (portable crib or bassinet) with a flat, firm surface and a tight, fitted sheet. Skip all soft bedding, including pillows and bumper pads.
Once your twin babies leave sleeping in your room (in their own separate cribs), it’s up to you whether you want to put them in separate rooms or in the same room in separate cribs.
- Separate cribs. Twin babies should be put down in separate, safe sleep surfaces such as cribs, bassinets or portable crib for every sleep.
- Back is best. Babies should always be put to sleep on their backs. Be sure to remind everyone caring for your babies to do the same.
- Firm and flat. Mattresses should be firm and flat and covered with tight-fitting sheets.
- Skip the soft bedding. Noblankets, pillows (including nursing pillows), toys, bumper pads or other extra items in the crib.
- Prevent overheating. Blankets, hats or extra clothing can make babies too hot.
- Smoke free. Parental smoking can increase the risk of SIDS. Both parents should refrain from smoking during the pregnancy and once your babies come home.
- Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has been found to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Don’t sleep with your babies. Sleeping with your babies can be very risky.
- Offer a pacifier. Giving your babies a pacifier when they sleep is a protective factor against SIDS. Only do this after breastfeeding is established.
- Room share. Putting your twins’ cribs in your bedroom for the first six to 12 months has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS and sleep-related deaths.
- Vaccinate. Vaccines are shown to be a protective factor for of SIDS.
Safe Sleep Tips for Twins (Multiples)
The recommendations for multiples are much the same as they are for single babies.
No. Many parents worry that their baby will choke when sleeping on his or her back, but this is not true. Infants are actually less likely to choke when placed on their backs. Babies have a reflex to keep their airway clear and avoid choking. They will cough up or swallow any fluid or spit up. Click HERE to see a video to see more.
A bare crib is best. The only things that should go in the crib or pack n play with your baby:
- A tight-fitted sheet on a firm flat mattress
- Optional pacifier with no pacifier attachments like a soft toy
That’s it! There should never be anything soft in your baby’s crib. This means no pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, or bumper pads. These items all increase the risk of suffocation. Instead of a blanket your baby can use a wearable blanket. Decorate the room not the bed! Click HERE to see a video about why a bare crib is best.
No. Bumper pads should never be used in an infant’s crib. We now have crib safety standards that make bumper pads unnecessary. The bars on newer cribs are no longer wide enough that a baby could get their head stuck in the crib bars and hurt themselves. Bumper pads can be very dangerous because they can cause suffocation and/or entrapment.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s standards now require crib bars to be no further apart than 2 3/8 inches. An easy test is to take a normal can of soda and try to fit it between the bars. If it fits, your crib does not meet the current safety standards.
You might think that the mattress in your crib or the pad in your portable crib is too hard, but these firm surfaces are just right for your baby. Only add a fitted sheet. Nothing more. Don’t try to make it soft or more comfy for your baby. Soft surfaces are very dangerous for babies because they increase the risk of suffocation.
The safest alternatives to blankets are sleep sacks—also called wearable blankets. These keep your baby warm and safe because they reduce the risk of suffocation and entrapment caused by regular blankets.
Ask others to move the baby back to her crib or set an alarm for yourself to wake up and move her. You can remove all bulky bedding from your bed to reduce the risk of suffocation.
That’s great that you are breastfeeding! Try putting your baby’s crib near your bed so that you can easily pick him or her up for feedings during the night and then return him or her to their crib for sleeping. Infants sleeping with another adult in an adult bed or couch can be very dangerous for the infant.
There are lots of other time for bonding with your infant, but when your baby is sleeping it is safest for them to be in their own space. You might sleep better too.
Just because people do sleep with their babies doesn’t mean it is recommended. The truth is babies are more likely to suffocate when they sleep with an adult or another child. Most of the infant sleep-related deaths in North Carolina are associated with infants sleeping with another adult.
Sleep positioners are not to be used because they can cause a risk for suffocation. Click HERE for a short video to better understand the risk.
Many parents like to use slings, wraps, or carriers when caring for their baby. It is important to take caution when using these. Baby wearing risks include baby suffocation or falls. It is very important that neither a cloth nor your clothes or body should interfere with infant breathing. To do this, babies who are positioned on your chest, should be at a level to where you could easily kiss them. This is helpful because this means you can always check that the baby’s face is uncovered. Also, infants should have their necks supported. This means that a baby’s head might be turned to the side alongside your body. A baby’s face should never be slumped down or tilted up. Click HERE to see a video about the importance of safety with slings, wraps, and carriers.
Yes, there was a recall alert. Stop Using Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper Immediately!
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Fisher-Price took the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and issued a recall of 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play infant sleepers following reports of infant deaths. This product is dangerous and parents and caregivers are urged to stop using it right away.
An investigation by Consumer Reports that found 32 infants had died while using the sleeper since 2011. Some of the infants rolled over while unrestrained and some were unable to breathe due to their position.
To request a refund for the Rock ‘n Play, visit http://bit.ly/RockNPlayRecall or call the company at 866-812-6518. Those who have owned the Rock ‘n Play for 6 months or less will receive a cash refund while those who have owned them longer will receive a voucher for a new Fisher-Price product.
The AAP does not recommend letting infants sleep in inclined products like the Rock ‘n Play that require restraining a baby. AAP policy calls for infants to sleep on their back, on a separate, flat and firm sleep surface without any bumpers, bedding or stuffed toys.