Safe Sleep for Baby

Safe Sleep for Baby

Many new parents have questions about safe sleeping practices for their new baby. Even experienced parents could use a refresher from time to time, especially if they’re given conflicting advice from friends and family members.

 

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep, for naps and at night, to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved* crib, covered by a fitted sheet, to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
  • Room sharing—keeping baby's sleep area in the same room where you sleep—reduces the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
  • Keep soft objects, toys, crib bumpers, and loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
  • To reduce the risk of SIDS, women should:
    • Get regular health care during pregnancy, and
    • Not smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs during pregnancy or after the baby is born.
  • To reduce the risk of SIDS, do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby.
  • Breastfeed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.
  • Follow health care provider guidance on your baby's vaccines and regular health checkups.
  • Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
  • Do not use home heart or breathing monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Give your baby plenty of tummy time when he or she is awake and when someone is watching. Place babies on their stomachs when they are awake and when someone is watching. Tummy Time helps your baby's head, neck, and shoulder muscles get stronger and helps to prevent flat spots on the head.

 

What does a safe sleep environment look like?

To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death:

  • Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved* crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Do not use pillows, blankets, sheepskins, or crib bumpers anywhere in your baby's sleep area.
  • Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area.
  • Do not smoke or let anyone smoke around your baby.
  • Make sure nothing covers the baby's head.
  • Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.
  • Dress your baby in sleep clothing, such as a one-piece sleeper, and do not use a blanket.
  • Baby's sleep area is next to where parents sleep.
  • Baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.

 

*For more information on crib safety guidelines, contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-638-2772 or www.cpsc.gov.

Info from: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

For more information about SIDS and the Safe to Sleep campaign: safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov.