Safe Sleep for Infants-A Parent’s Guide

Helping you reduce risk of SIDS.

Did You Know?

  • About one in five sudden infant death syndrome(SIDS) deaths occur while an infant is in the care of someone other than a parent. Known as “unaccustomed tummy sleeping”, many of these deaths occur when babies who are used to sleeping on their backs at home are then placed to sleep on their tummies by another caregiver. Unaccustomed tummy sleeping causes the risk of SIDS to increase. Babies who are used to sleeping on their backs and are placed to sleep on their tummies are 18 times more likely to die from SIDS.

    By talking to those who care for your baby, you can reduce your baby’s risk of dying of SIDS. These people include child care providers, babysitters, family, and friends, about placing your baby to sleep on his back at night and during naps.

Who is at Risk for SIDS?

  • The leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 12 months of age is SIDS.
  • SIDS is most common among infants that are 2-4 months old. However, babies can die of SIDS until they are 12 months old.

What can I do before my baby is born to reduce the risk of SIDS?

During pregnancy and after the birth of your baby, you should take care of yourself Before you even give birth, during pregnancy, you can reduce the risk of your baby dying from SIDS! Don’t smoke or expose yourself to others’ smoke while you are pregnant and after the baby is born. To reduce your risk of having a low birth baby, be sure to visit a physician for regular prenatal checkups

Know the truth…

SIDS is not caused by:

  • Immunizations
  • Vomiting or choking

what can I do to help spread the word about Back to Sleep?

  • Being aware of safe sleep practices and how they can be made a part of our everyday lives.
  • Talk to the manager about safe sleep when shopping in stores with crib displays that show heavy quilts, pillows, and stuffed animals, Ask them not to display cribs in this way.
  • • Monitor the media. Write a letter to the editor when you see an ad or a picture in the paper that shows a baby sleeping on her tummy
  • • Please talk to teenagers who take care of babies if you know them. They may need help and advice with following the proper safe sleep practices.
  • • Realize that you may not have slept on your back as a baby, but we now know that this is the safest way for babies to sleep. Set a good example. Be sure to always place babies on their backs, when placing babies to sleep.

Make safe sleep practices a part of your daily life. It is easy and free!

This way, you will know that you are doing all that you can to keep your baby healthy and safe. Do your best to follow the guidelines above.

Where is the safest place for my baby to sleep?

The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the same room where you sleep. Place the baby’s crib or bassinet near your bed (within an arm’s reach). This makes it easier to breastfeed and to bond with your baby. The crib or bassinet should be free from toys,soft bedding, blankets, and pillows.

Helping you to reduce the risk of SIDS

How can I reduce my baby’s risk?

Follow these guidelines to help you reduce your baby’s risk of dying from SIDS.

  • Safe Sleep Practices
    • During naps and at nighttime, always place babies to sleep on their backs. The side position is not as safe as the back and is not recommended because babies sleeping on their sides are more likely to accidentally roll onto their stomach,.
    • Don’t overbundle babies in clothing or cover their heads with a blanket or and blankets.
    • The baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing. Dress the baby lightly for sleep. Avoid letting the baby get too hot.
    • Set the room temperature in a range that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
  • Environment for Safe Sleep
    • Place your baby in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and a well-fitting sheet (cradles and bassinets may be used, but choose those that are JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association)
    • certified for safety).
    • Place the crib in an area that is always smoke free.
    • Don’t place babies to sleep on adult beds,chairs, sofas, waterbeds, or cushions.
    • Items that can impair the infant’s ability to breathe if they cover his face are like toys and other soft bedding, including fluffy blankets, comforters, pillows, stuffed animals, and wedges should not be placed in the crib with the baby.
    • Experts recommend that mothers feed their children human milk at least through the first year of life. Breastfeed your baby.

Everyone who cares for your baby should know about Sleep Safe Practices.

Make sure that you talk with the person minding your infant about safe sleep practices when looking for someone to take care of your baby, including a child care provider, a family member, or a friend. Bring this article along to help explain, if needed. Respectfully try to teach the caregiver what you have learned about safe sleep practices and the importance of following these rules when caring for infants, if a caregiver does not know about the practices. Be sure that person that you are leaving baby with agrees that the safe sleep practices explained in this article will be followed all of the time.

Is it ever safe to have babies on their tummies?

You should make known to your child care provider about making tummy time a part of your baby’s daily activities. To help build strong neck and shoulder muscles, your baby needs plenty of tummy time while supervised and awake. Make sure that your baby is having tummy time at home with you.

Tummy to Play and Back to Sleep

  • To reduce the risk of SIDS, place babies to sleep on their backs. Side sleeping is not as safe as back sleeping and is not advised. Babies sleep comfortably on their backs, and no special equipment or extra money is needed.
  • There’s no evidence that wedges or infant positioners can reduce the risk of SIDS
  • "Tummy time" is playtime when infants are awake and placed on their tummies while someone is supervising them. Allow babies to have tummy time to develop normally.
  • Remember, talk to your baby’s doctor if you have a question about the health and safety of your child.