Prevention and Wellness

Safe Sleep

Make sure that everyone who cares for your baby knows about these important rules.

Do:

  • Place baby on his/her back for every sleep (naps and nighttime) until 1 year of age.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface such as a safety-approved crib mattress. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep. Do not place infant on a sofa, chair, waterbed, soft mattress, quilt or blanket, cushion, pillow or any other soft surface.
  • Keep baby's sleep area close to, but separate from, where others sleep. The baby should never share a sleep surface with another adult or child. The baby can, however, sleep in the same room with you – roomshare, never bedshare!  
  • Keep up with immunizations. Research has shown that immunizations reduce SIDS risk by 50%.
  • Breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding is now recommended as a strategy for reducing SIDS risk.
  • Offer baby a pacifier at naptime and bedtime. If breastfeeding, delay pacifier use until feeding is well established (typically 3-4 weeks of age).
  • Keep baby's sleep area close to, but separate from, where others sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep in the parents' room, close to the parents' bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for the first year of life, but at least for the first 6 months. The baby should never share a sleep surface with another adult or child. The baby can, however, sleep in the same room with you- roomshare never bedshare!

Don't:

  • Use blankets to keep baby warm during sleep. Instead, use a wearable blanket, “sleep sack” or other type of sleeper to keep baby comfortable and safe.
  • Allow soft items in baby's sleep area including pillows, blankets, quilts, bumper pads, wedges or positioners and stuffed toys.
  • Overheat baby during sleep by overdressing or covering the head or face.
  • Allow smoking around baby. Don't smoke before or after the birth of your baby and don't allow others to do so either! Keep baby's environment smoke-free! Research shows that babies with mothers who smoke during pregnancy are at 3 times greater risk for SIDS, and babies who breathe secondhand smoke have 2.5 times greater risk for SIDS.
  • Use alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth.

Content Updated: November 4, 2016

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