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Safe Sleep for Infants

Learn More About Keeping Your Child Safe

According to the Centers for Disease Control there are about 3,400 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the US each year. In 2019, approximately 960 deaths were attributed to suffocation and strangulation in bed. While these numbers may sound a little alarming, there has been a decline in sleep related deaths in recent years thanks to safe sleep practices. 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.

During your postpartum stay, the hospitals staff will provide extensive education on safe sleep practices and help you put them into place while you are with us recovering. It is also important that not only parents know and practice safe sleep habits, but everyone helping care for your baby knows how to create a safe sleep environment.

Best Practices for Safe Sleep

Here are tips to help create a safer sleep environment:

  • Follow the ABCs of Safe Sleep:
    • Alone – baby sleeps alone, without other objects, caregivers, or siblings
    • Back – baby sleeps on his/her back
    • Crib – baby sleeps on his/her own sleeping space, such as a crib or a bassinet
  • Until their first birthday, place your baby on their back to sleep for naps and at night.
  • Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved crib mattress covered with a fitted sheet.
  • Never place your baby to sleep on a couch, sofa, or armchair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
  • Keep soft objects such as pillows and blankets, toys and bumpers out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • If you give your baby a pacifier, use one that is not attached to a string for naps and at night to decrease risk of choking or strangling.
  • Breastfeed your baby if possible. Studies show babies who breastfeed have a lower risk for SIDS.
  • Never place a crib near a window with blind, curtain cords or baby monitor cords to prevent strangulation.
  • Do not attempt to fix a broken crib; replace it
  • Do not smoke during pregnancy or allow smoking around your baby.
  • Room-sharing is recommended - keep baby's sleep area in the same room where you sleep for at least the first six months, BUT do not let your baby sleep with you or anyone else in bed (co-bedding).
  • If your baby falls asleep in a car seat, swing, stroller or other carrier, move them to a firm sleep surface such as a crib, bassinet or portable crib for sleep.
  • Never use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, sleep positioning devices, or pillow-like bumpers in your baby’s sleep area.
  • Avoid letting your baby overheat during sleep. (Dress your baby in light sleep clothing and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.)
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