Safe Sleep for the Exhausted Parent

In wake of the recent recall of the Fisher Price Rock ?N Play sleeper, safe sleep has come into the spotlight, effecting most parents of young children. Tragically, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has revealed that 32 infants have died since 2011, while using the Rock ?N Play sleeper.  Furthermore, Fisher Price has recalled millions of their infant sleepers due to safety concerns.  

Safe sleep recommendations are widely known, thanks to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Let?s quickly review their recommendations for reducing the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and creating a safe sleep environment:

  • Place baby on their back, on a firm sleep surface, such as a crib or bassinet
  • Never share a sleeping surface with your baby
  • Avoid the use of soft bedding including blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals, and pillows
  • Room share with your baby for a minimum of six months but preferably until 1 year old
  • Protect your baby from exposure to smoke, alcohol, and drugs
  • Skin to skin care and breastfeeding are recommended as further protection against SIDS

As a pediatric sleep consultant, educating parents on safe sleep is at the heart of my work.  As a professional and a mom, I care deeply for the families I work with.  My goal is to offer SAFE solutions to sleep challenges, so parents don?t have to take risks just to get a few hours of sleep.

Parents often ask me what my life as a new mom was like before becoming a certified sleep consultant and here?s the shocker, I?m a recovering Rock ?N Play mom.  It?s true, my baby slept magically in this deadly device.  I was the mom who had the ?unicorn baby?, sleeping 12 hours a night.  It was pure bliss. I look back now and realize how risky our behavior was and thank my lucky stars that my baby wasn?t one of the 32 who have died.

So why is safe sleep so hard for many parents to adopt? From working with hundreds of exhausted parents, I?ve realized that many of their unsafe sleep practices come from desperation.  Parents need sleep and they will do anything to get more of it.  I?ve met parents who walk miles at night with their babies in the carrier, just to get a few hours without crying. Parents who have invested hundreds of dollars in wedges, hammocks, breathing monitors, and sleepers, with the promise that their baby will sleep better. Parents who have turned to co sleeping, so the endless night time waking is more bearable. Parents who are breaking even their own rules, just for a few more hours of sleep. 

To the mama shaking her head yes to everything above, I don?t blame you, I was one of those parents too. I too dabbled in co sleeping (gasps), my baby slept in a Rock ?N Play. I?ve been there and I hear you. You may also be thinking that I?m crazy to suggest you remove your magical, rocking sleeper.  Luckily, I?m here to offer you an alternative.

Teach Your Baby to Sleep Well WITHOUT any external help

For the parent who is in the trenches of sleep deprivation, willing to give their right arm for uninterrupted sleep, there is hope.  I urge you to find a sleep training method that resonates with your parenting style and beliefs, and work on the core issue at hand: your baby can?t independently sleep.  Baby is relying on you and that magical rocker to get to sleep, a sleep prop as you?ll hear me call it. 

When deciding what method of sleep training to use, there are dozens of books to choose from. If you?re not the DIY type, hiring a qualified sleep consultant is an investment you will never regret.  I guarantee you will spend less money teaching your baby to sleep, hand in hand with a loving professional, than all the products you?ll buy getting your baby to sleep well temporarily. 

If you?re an expecting mama or dad, who is prepping for a new baby, I urge you to do your homework before investing in truckloads of new products, promising better and safer sleep for your baby. Remember, less is more. Clean and calm is the way to go when your baby is here. 

As a parent, safe sleep must be your top priority. For more information on safe sleep practices visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website to find out more.

Thinking of hiring a sleep consultant? Sleep Solutions for Children is a pediatric sleep consultant practice that is based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. Founder and lead sleep consultant, Becky Remley, works virtually with clients all over the world and offers custom sleep packages to meet the needs of every family. 

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