Why infant safe sleep matters
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), there are around 3,500 sleep related deaths among babies in the United States each year. Safe sleep practices are designed to reduce the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation, and other deaths related to unsafe sleep practices. Thanks to safe sleep practices, sleep related deaths like SIDS are on the decline, however, it is important that all health providers and parents know how to create a safe sleep environment:
- Always place a baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night, to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Use a firm sleep surface, covered by a fitted sheet; a crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard that conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended.
- Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
- Keep your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep (for the infants first year). Room sharing not bed sharing. Always place the baby in a safety-approved crib, bassinet, portable crib for sleep.
- Sitting devices like bouncy seats, swings, infant carriers or strollers should not be used for routine sleep.
- Keep soft objects such as pillows and blankets, toys and bumpers out of your baby’s sleep area.
- Wedges and positioners should not be used.
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or allow smoking around your baby.
- Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.
- Give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS after breastfeeding is established.
- Supervised Skin to Skin is recommended to all mothers and infants immediately following birth regardless of feeding or delivery, (as soon as mother is medically stable, awake and able to respond to her newborn) and to continue for at least an hour. Once mother starts to get sleepy, return baby to bassinet.
- Follow health care provider guidance on your baby’s vaccines and regular health checkups.
Learn more about how to help keep you and your baby healthy and safe, as well as learn about certain birth defects and medical conditions.
Founded in 1998 by Judith A. Bannon, Cribs for Kids is a national infant safe-sleep education program that helps to reduce the risk of injury and death of infants due to accidental suffocation, asphyxia, or undetermined causes in unsafe sleeping environments. Visit cribsforkids.org for more information. Cribs for Kids also certifies hospitals that have made a commitment to safe sleep practices and educating the public about safe sleep. Visit Cribs for Kids Hospital Certification for more information.