Safe Sleep

American Academy of Pediatrics Expands Guidelines for Infant Sleep Safety and SIDS Risk Reduction*

We know that there are no ways to prevent all sudden infant deaths but there are protective measures parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of this happening to their baby.  Many of the risk factors for SIDS and sleep related infant deaths are similar.  Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) expanded their recommendations in 2011 and focused on safe sleep environments that will reduce the risk of all sleep related infant deaths including SIDS.  We urge parents and caregivers to follow these simple AAP guidelines. 

  • Babies should always sleep on their backs, at nighttime and naptime.  Tummy and side sleeping are not safe.
  • Use a safety approved crib with a firm mattress and a tight fitting sheet for sleep.  Room share with your baby by making sure their crib is placed near your bed for at least the first 6 months.
  • Do not share a bed or couch with your baby.  Make sure your baby has its own separate sleep space.  Never let your baby sleep on soft surfaces such as adult beds, water beds, sofas, chairs, comforters and sheepskins.
  • Keep all soft bedding out of your baby’s crib.  This includes loose bedding, stuffed animals and bumper pads.
  • Avoid overheating.  Dress your baby like you would dress and keep the room temperature comfortable, not too warm. 
  • Pregnant women should receive regular prenatal care.
  • Do not smoke during or after your pregnancy and avoid exposure to second hand smoke.  These put your baby at a greater risk of dying from SIDS.
  • Avoid alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.
  • Use a pacifier at naptime and nighttime after breastfeeding has been established.
  • Do not use commercial devises marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS such as wedges and positioners.  None have been proven safe or effective.
  • Encourage supervised tummy time when your baby is awake to avoid flat spots on the back of their head and to strengthen their upper torso and neck.
  • All babies should be immunized in accordance with the AAP and CDC recommendations.

Share these important safety tips with everyone who cares for your baby.

Infant Safe Sleep Videos

*SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment, American Academy of Pediatrics, October 2016

Baby photo courtesy of MetroHealth