Office of Child Welfare

Safe Sleep

Sleeping Like A Baby

A safety Checklist for Parents & Caregivers

sleeping baby
  • 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 close 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 your baby about how to keep your baby safe during sleep.
  • Make sure the baby’s mattress is firm and fits snugly in its frame and use only the mattress that comes with the crib.
  • Make sure the baby’s sheet fits tightly around the mattress.
  • 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.
  • Avoid exposing your baby to smoke, alcohol or drugs.
  • 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.

Don't Risk It!

It is NOT safe to put anything in baby’s bed, such as sheepskins, stuffed animals, baby positioners, crib wedges, comforters, pillows, heavy blankets or bumper pads.

It is NOT safe to let your baby sleep on an adult bed, air mattress, bean bag, reclining chair, sofa, waterbed, or any other soft surface.