Safer Sleep for Your Baby
When it comes to keeping your baby safe when they’re sleeping, remember: “back to sleep, tummy to play!” Place your baby on their back in a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting crib sheet and no blankets, pillows or toys. This is safer for baby because it reduces the risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome, commonly known as SIDS.
Babies between one and four months of age are most at risk, but SIDS deaths can occur anytime in the baby’s first year of life. This devastating event can happen to any baby, even if they seem healthy.
SIDS typically occurs during the time a baby is sleeping. Consider these ABCs to sleep safety and reduce the risks of your baby’s sleep environment:
- A - Alone: Your baby should sleep alone, in a separate space for every sleep. This includes naps and nighttime. It is okay for a baby to share a bedroom with parents, but do not let the infant sleep in the same bed (no co-sleeping). The importance of avoiding co-sleeping cannot be understated: more than 60% of SIDS deaths occur when an infant is sharing a sleeping surface such as a bed, armchair, or couch.1
- B - Back: Your baby should always be put to sleep on their backs when they are asleep, never on their tummy or sides.
- C - Crib: Your baby should sleep in their own cribs or safety approved pack and plays and bassinets. Use a firm or flat sleep surface that is not propped up or at an angle. Anything in your child’s crib could pose a risk so be sure that keep all objects out of your baby’s sleep space, including loose blankets, stuffed toys, sleep positioners, etc.
In case of an emergency, immediately dial 9-1-1.
Always consult with your pediatrician with concerns for your baby.
Safer Sleep Resources
- Valley Children's "ABCs for Safe Sleep" cards are available for download and print in English and Spanish.
- Safe to Sleep, a public education campaign led by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, provides research, education and printable/shareable resources about creating safer sleep environments.
- HealthyChildren.org, powered by the American Academy of Pediatrics, has many educational resources about sleep on their website, available in English and Spanish.
Our Commitment to Safer Sleep
Approximately 3,500 infants die each year in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths. Valley Children’s Healthcare and the Guilds Center for Community Health are committed to identifying solutions that will reduce preventable deaths for children. Click here to learn more about their work to create safe sleep environments for infants.
1 Schnitzer PG, Covington TM, Dykstra HK. Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths: Sleep Environment and Circumstances. AM J Public Health. 2012;102(6):1204-1212. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3483961/