Safe Sleep for Infants

How to keep your baby safe:

  • Make sure the baby’s crib meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.
  • The mattress should be firm and fit snuggly in the crib’s frame.
  • Crib sheets should fit tightly around the mattress.
  • Place baby on his or her back to sleep in order to reduce the risk of suffocation.
  • Keep baby’s sleep area clear of strings, cords and wires.
  • Give your baby a pacifier (never a bottle) when he or she goes to sleep. However, if the baby does not want the pacifier, do not force it into his or her mouth or reinsert if found the baby has discarded it in his sleep.
  • Keep the room temperature comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
  • For the first six months, keep baby’s bed in the same room as his or her caregiver in order to be attentive to baby’s cries.
  • Avoid exposing your baby to smoke both during pregnancy and after birth, as exposure to smoke is a major risk factor for Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) and Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome (SUID).
  • Use infant sleep clothing designed to keep your baby warm without the possible hazard of head covering or entrapment. Infants are typically comfortable with one layer more than an adult would wear to be comfortable in the same environment.

How different sleep situations can be dangerous:

  • Although they may look cute, pillows, blankets, bumper pads and toys can suffocate your infant.
  • Despite popular belief, sleep aids such as wedges and sleep positioners can increase the risk of infant death due to suffocation. If the infant shifts at all, the soft objects can actually trap the baby in a fatal position.
  • Sleeping with your infant may be more convenient and look peaceful, but the risk of an adult rolling onto or pinning the baby and killing the infant by suffocation increases immensely through co-sleep.
  • Each baby should have its own bed – even multiples and other siblings increase the risk of suffocation.
  • Adult beds, air mattresses, beanbags, reclining chairs, sofas, etc. are not made for babies and wedge a baby, causing suffocation.
  • Any loose cables, wires, bumper pad strings, etc. around the crib could be fire hazards and/or wrap around your baby’s neck and strangle him or her.
  • If you do not place your baby on the back to sleep, your baby’s airway may not be clear. (15)