SERVICES > PREGNANCY & CHILDBIRTH > POSTPARTUM CARE > SAFE SLEEP FOR BABIES
Babies spend a lot of time sleeping, so it's important to provide them with a safe sleep environment.
Learn about safe sleep for babies in this video from the National Institutes of Health. A longer (10-minute) version here provides more information.
Parents can be anxious to make their baby as comfortable during sleep as possible. However, some of the things they typically do to provide a cozy bed can increase the chance of serious problems.
Certain items in and around the crib can be a suffocation hazard to infants. Though they may be harmless to older children, infants have smaller airways and less head control. This means they might not be able to reposition themselves if their access to air is blocked, even by something as simple as a blanket.
Fortunately, there are a few easy steps to make your baby's sleep environment much safer without disturbing your baby's sleep.
All parents and caregivers should be aware of the possible hazards associated with sleeping.
Problems have been caused by all of the above as well as the following:
Here are some tips to making your baby's sleep safer from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
When putting a baby less than one year of age to sleep, make sure that you:
Note: When your child is awake, it's okay for your baby to have supervised play time on their belly. This will help your baby develop some posture muscles.
For safe bedding, be sure you:
Do not place the baby to sleep on soft surfaces such as:
Your baby can sleep in the same room as you, but do not share the bed.
A safe crib will have:
Remove soft products from the baby’s crib such as:
For mesh-sided cribs or playpens, look for:
National Institutes of Health Safe to Sleep campaign –
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association safe sleep resources at
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Safe to Sleep Crib Information Center at
A Parent's Guide to Safe Sleep from the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/A-Parents-Guide-to-Safe-Sleep.aspx Accessed November 7, 2012
Healthy Children from the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Back-to-Sleep-Tummy-to-Play.aspx Accessed November 6, 2012
Consumer Product Safety Commission. Crib safety tips. Consumer Product Safety Commission. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5030.html. Accessed November 6, 2012.
CPSC cautions caregivers about hidden hazards for babies on adult beds. Consumer Product Safety Commission. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5091.pdf. Accessed November 6, 2012.
Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. American Academy of Pediatrics Statement: The changing concept of sudden infant death syndrome: diagnostic coding shifts, controversies regarding the sleeping environment, and new variables to consider in reduction risk. Pediatrics. 2005;116:1245-1255. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/116/5/1245
10/5/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: US Food and Drug Administration. Infant sleep positioners: consumer warning—risk of suffocation. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm227575.htm. Updated 7/17/2012. Accessed November 6, 2012.
11/14/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: expansion of recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics. 2011;128(5):1030-1039.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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