Office of Child Welfare
Safe Sleep For You And Your Baby
Helping You Reduce the Risk of SIDS and Suffocation
“The safest place for an infant to sleep alone is in a crib, in the parents’ room, for the first year of life.” The American Academy of Pediatrics
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby less than one year old. This is very scary for parents, but there are simple things you can do to lower the risk of infant death. Some parents believe sleeping with their baby will protect the baby from SIDS, but sleeping with a baby is dangerous and actually raises the risk of infant death.
Consider these facts before you decide where your baby will sleep:
- Suffocation and strangulation in an adult bed is the leading cause of injury-related death for infants under one year of age in the state of Florida.
- The risk of sleeping-related infant death is 40 times higher for babies who sleep in adult beds compared to babies who sleep in their own cribs.
Keep Your Baby Safe During Sleep
To lower the risk of SIDS and suffocation and keep your baby safe while he or she sleeps, it is important to:
Make sure baby’s crib, bassinet, cradle, or portable crib is undamaged and meets current Consumer Products Safety Commission standards. (www.cpsc.gov).
Put baby’s crib, cradle, or bassinet near to parent or caregiver’s bed for the first year of life. Place your baby face up to sleep, sleeping on the stomach or side increases the risk of suffocation. Tell everyone who takes care of baby about how to keep your baby safe during sleep.
Make sure the baby’s mattress is firm and fits snugly in its frame.
Make sure the baby’s sheet fits tightly around the mattress and use only the mattress that comes with the crib.
Keep the baby’s sleeping area away from all loose strings (i.e. blind cords, electrical cords and clothing).
Offer your baby a pacifier (never a bottle) when placing your baby down to sleep. The pacifier should not be put back into the baby’s mouth if it is spit out during sleep. If the baby does not want the pacifier, do not force it and never do anything to hold it in place. If breastfeeding, do not use a pacifier until the baby is one month old.
Respond to your baby’s cries during the night. Keep the room temperature of your baby’s sleeping area comfortable for a lightly clothed adult to keep baby from getting overheated. Always hold the bottle when feeding your baby, since propping a bottle can cause the baby to choke and possibly die.
Hang baby’s mobile out of baby’s reach and remove it once baby learns to sit up.
Lower the baby’s mattress when your baby learns to sit, and again when they learn to stand to prevent baby from falling out of the crib.
It is NOT Safe
to put anything in your baby’s bed, such as sheepskins, stuffed animals, baby positioners, crib wedges, comforters, pillows, heavy blankets or bumper pads.
It is NOT safe
to smoke around your baby or in a room where your baby spends time.
It is NOT safe
to let your baby sleep on an adult bed, air mattress, beanbag, reclining chair, sofa, waterbed, or on any furniture not made for babies.
Sleeping With Your Baby is Dangerous
Even if your baby is breastfed and you don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs or other medications sleeping with your baby still increases your baby’s risk of suffocation or strangulation while sleeping.
The only way to protect your baby from higher risk is to have your baby sleep in a crib.
Visit www.ounce.org/safe_sleep for more information and tips on helping babies fall asleep and stay asleep in their own safe space.