Baby sleeping on its back in a crib

A Safe Infant Sleeping Environment: Fact Sheet for Families

Reducing the Risk of SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths


The following steps, recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, will help keep your baby safe when sleeping.

 

  • Always put your baby to sleep on their back until one year of age.
  • Place your baby on a firm, flat mattress, with a fitted crib sheet, in a crib that meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission safety standards.
  • Keep the crib free from toys, mobiles, stuffed animals, pillows, crib bumpers, blankets, positioning devices and extra bedding.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.
  • The safest place for your baby to sleep at night is in a crib in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed, for at least the first six months.
  • Keep the bedroom well ventilated, at a temperature that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
  • Don’t put your baby to sleep on an adult bed, sofa/couch, armchair, cushion, pillow, or in a car seat, stroller, swing, or bouncy chair.
  • Check your baby periodically while they are asleep.
  • To avoid overheating your baby, don’t overdress them.  Remove bibs, clothes with hoods or ties, and hats.
  • Consult with your health care provider if you think your child would benefit from swaddling.  When your baby starts trying to roll over (at about 3-4 months of age), they should no longer be swaddled.
  • Weighted clothing or other weighted objects are not safe and are not recommended.
  • You may offer a pacifier, once breastfeeding is established.  The pacifier should not be attached to the baby's clothing by a string or ribbon.
  • Keep your baby's space smoke- and vape-free.
  • Visit your baby’s doctor for regular check-ups and immunizations.
  • Make supervised tummy time part of your baby’s daily activity when awake.
  • Make sure everyone who takes care of your baby follows safe sleep practices.
  •  

Photo Courtesy of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Development (NICHD)


References & Resources


Moon, R., Carlin, R., Hand, I. and The Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the Committee on Fetus and Newborn. (2022). Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2022 Recommendations for Reducing Infant Deaths in the Sleep Environment. Pediatrics, 150(1): e2022057990. Accessed at https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/150/1/e2022057990/188304/Sleep-Related-Infant-Deaths-Updated-2022


Safe Sleep for Infants in Child Care Programs: Reducing the Risk of SIDS and Other Sleep Related Infant Deaths  http://cchp.ucsf.edu/SIDS-Note


CCHP Tummy Time. http://cchp.ucsf.edu/Tummy-Time