Here are recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on how to reduce
the risk for SIDS and sleep-related deaths from birth to age 1:
Make sure your baby is immunized. A baby who is fully
immunized can reduce the risk for SIDS.
Breastfeed your baby. The AAP recommends giving a baby
only breast milk for at least 6 months.
Place your baby on their back for all sleep or naps until
they are 1 year old.
This can decrease the risk for SIDS, aspiration, and
choking. Never place your baby on their side or stomach for sleep or naps. If your
baby is awake, allow your child time on their tummy as long as you are
supervising, to decrease the chances that your child will develop a flat head.
Always talk with your baby's healthcare provider
before raising the head of their crib if your baby has been diagnosed with
gastroesophageal reflux (GERD or heartburn).
Offer your baby a pacifier for sleeping or naps, if
not breastfed. If breastfeeding, delay introducing a pacifier until breastfeeding
has been firmly established.
Use a firm mattress (covered by a tightly fitted
sheet) to prevent gaps between the mattress and the sides of a crib, a play yard,
or a bassinet. This can decrease the risk for entrapment, suffocation, and
Share your room instead of your bed
with your baby.
Putting your baby in bed with you raises the risk for
strangulation, suffocation, entrapment, and SIDS. Bed sharing is not recommended
for twins or other multiples. The AAP recommends that babies sleep in the same
room as their parents, close to their parent's bed but in a separate bed or crib
appropriate for babies. This sleeping arrangement is recommended ideally for the
baby's first year, but should at least be maintained for the first 6 months.
Don't use infant seats, car seats, strollers, infant
carriers, and infant swings for routine sleep and daily naps.
block a baby's airway or cause suffocation.
place babies on a couch or armchair for sleep.
Sleeping on a couch or
armchair puts the baby at a much higher risk for death, including SIDS.
Don't use illicit drugs and alcohol, and don't smoke
during pregnancy or after birth. Keep your baby away from others who are smoking
and areas where others smoke.
Don't over bundle, overdress, or cover a baby's face or
This will prevent your baby from getting overheated, reducing the
risk for SIDS.
Be sure the slats of your baby's crib are no more than 2-3/8
so the baby can't fit through the slats.
Don't use loose bedding or soft objects—bumper pads,
pillows, comforters, blankets—in a baby's crib or bassinet to help prevent
suffocation, strangulation, entrapment, or SIDS.
Don't use home cardiorespiratory monitors and commercial
—wedges, positioners, and special mattresses—to help decrease the
risk for SIDS and sleep-related infant deaths.
Always place cribs, bassinets, and play yards in
—those with no dangling cords, wires, or window
coverings—to reduce the risk for strangulation.