Safe Sleep Steps
Follow these steps to create a safe sleep environment for your baby. These steps aren't always as simple as they sound. If you need help or feel overwhelmed, talk with your healthcare provider to create a plan that is best for you and your baby. Reach out to family and friends to ask for help.
- Your baby should sleep alone in a crib, portable crib, bassinet or pack 'n play (play yard) with only a firm mattress and tightly fitted sheet for every sleep time.
- Babies are safest when they sleep in a crib, bassinet or pack n' play. When babies sleep with an adult or another child, that person could accidently roll over and suffocate the baby. Or, a baby can get stuck or wedged between the bed and the wall, furniture or other objects. In addition, babies can suffocate on objects in the sleep environment. Babies are not safe sleeping on couches or chairs. They can suffocate on or get wedged between the cushions.
Click on the images above to learn more information regarding safety tips for each safe sleep area.
- Always place your baby on the back to sleep. Once your baby can roll from back to stomach and from stomach to back, he or she can be allowed to remain in the sleep position that he or she baby chooses.
- Back sleeping protects a baby's airway and ensures access to fresh air. Babies on the stomach can sleep too deeply and may not wake up to take a breath. Also, babies who are placed to sleep on the stomach may not physically be able to move to take a breath if needed. Babies, especially when young, can have poor head and neck control.
No pillows, blankets, comforters, stuffed animals or other objects should be in your baby's sleep area. Babies can suffocate on pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and other objects in the sleep area.
Your baby should sleep where you can see and hear them. Share your room, not your bed.
Avoid covering your baby's head when sleeping or overheating your baby. After hospital discharge, your baby should not wear a hat when sleeping. Your baby should be dressed for the space he or she is in. If you think your baby is cold, dress him or her in a footed sleeper with a sleep sack right for his or her size and age.
Additionally, it is recommended to breastfeed your baby, participate in supervised, awake tummy time daily and not allow anyone to smoke around your baby. You can also consider offering your baby a pacifier at naptime and bedtime.
Car seats, swings and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep. Learn why these products are not safe for sleep. If your baby falls asleep in a swing, bouncy seat, car seat, or other sitting devices, he or she should be moved to a crib, bassinet, or pack 'n play as soon as it is possible.
Share this information with all family, friends, and child care providers who may care for your baby to ensure they follow the safe sleep steps.
It is also important that you and your baby stay healthy - by obtaining regular prenatal care, taking baby to wellness checkups and obtaining recommended immunizations.
These guidelines based on the American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations for a Safe Sleeping Environment.
Below, hear from three different families on their experience with infant loss related to unsafe sleep practices.
There are numerous resources and tools available to learn more about safe sleep recommendations and guidelines. Below are links to some of those resources.
Safe Sleep Resources by County