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Bedroom with the following from the left: window, dresser, toy bear, rocking chair with blanket, toy blocks, crib with baby, bed with blanket, thermostat There are ways parents and caregivers can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Learn how to create a safe sleep environment for your baby. To start, select the crib.
Baby sleeping in crib Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night, to reduce the risk of SIDS.

The back position is the safest: Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than are babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides.

Babies who are used to sleeping on their backs but who are then placed on their stomachs, such as for a nap, are at very high risk for SIDS. So remember, every sleep time counts.
Baby sleeping in crib with a quote saying Choose Me * Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website for more information about crib safety.

Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved* crib, covered by a fitted sheet, to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Firm sleep surfaces can include safety-approved* cribs, bassinets, and portable play areas. Do not use a car seat, carrier, swing, or similar product as baby’s everyday sleep area.

Babies who sleep on a soft surface, such as an adult mattress, or under a soft surface, such as a soft blanket or quilt, are more likely to die of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Never place baby to sleep on soft surfaces, such as couches or sofas, pillows, quilts, sheepskins, or blankets.
Close up of baby sleeping with pacifier Give your baby a dry pacifier—not attached to a string—for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS.

But don’t force the baby to take the pacifier.

If the pacifier falls out of the baby’s mouth during sleep, you do not need to replace it.

Wait until your baby is used to breastfeeding before trying a pacifier.
Blanket on rocking chair or blanket on a bed Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.

Because blankets can make a baby too warm during sleep, use them as decoration in the room instead of in the crib with the baby.

Dress your baby in no more than one layer of clothing more than an adult would wear to be comfortable, and leave the blanket out of the crib. A one-piece sleeper or sleep sack can be used for sleep clothing. If you notice baby sweating or breathing rapidly, he or she may be too warm.
Baby in crib next to a bed Have the baby share your room, not your bed.

Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.

Room sharing—keeping baby’s sleep area in the same room where you or others sleep—reduces the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

* Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website for more information about crib safety.

If you bring baby into your bed to breastfeed, make sure to put him or her back into a separate sleep area in your room, such as a safety-approved* crib, bassinet, or portable play area when you are finished.
Toy bear Keep soft objects, toys, crib bumpers, and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Stuffed animals and toys are great for when baby is awake, but keep them and other objects out of the sleep area.

Don’t use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, or crib bumpers anywhere in your baby’s sleep area.

Why no crib bumpers? Evidence does not support using crib bumpers to prevent injuries. In fact, crib bumpers can cause serious injuries and even death. Keeping them out of baby’s sleep area is the best way to avoid these dangers.
Thermostat in the bedroom Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.

Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.

Dress your baby in no more than one layer of clothing more than an adult would wear to be comfortable, and do not use a blanket. A one-piece sleeper or sleep sack can be used for sleep clothing.
Window in the bedroom Put your baby on his or her back to sleep for all sleep times, including daytime naps and overnight, to reduce the risk of SIDS.

The back position is the safest: Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than are babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides.

Every sleep time counts: Babies who are used to sleeping on their backs but who are then placed on their stomachs, such as for a nap, are at very high risk for SIDS.
Pregnant woman talking with her doctor Great job!

You’ve helped to create a safe sleep environment for your baby and learned some ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Consider these other ways to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death:
  • Women should:
    • Get regular health care during pregnancy, and
    • Not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy or after the baby is born.
No smoking sign
  • Do not allow smoking around your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS. Don’t smoke during pregnancy, and don’t smoke or allow smoking around your baby.
Baby nursing
  • Breastfeed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS. Breastfeeding also has many health benefits for mother and baby.
Baby with mom and doctor
  • Follow health care provider guidance on your baby’s vaccines and regular health checkups.
Crib bumper
Baby heating pad
  • Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of death. These wedges, positioners, and other products have not been tested for safety or effectiveness.
  • Do not use home heart or breathing monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you have questions about using these types of monitors for other health conditions, talk with your baby’s health care provider.
Family with baby on stomach for tummy time
  • Give your baby plenty of Tummy Time when he or she is awake and when someone is watching. Supervised Tummy Time helps baby’s neck, shoulder, and arm muscles get stronger. It also helps to prevent flat spots on the back of your baby’s head. Holding baby upright and limiting time in carriers and bouncers can also help prevent flat spots on the back of baby’s head.
Congratulations! You have successfully created a safe sleep environment for your baby here in the virtual world, and now you can do the same in your home. For more information on safe sleep, visit the Safe to Sleep website or check out these publications:
Safe to Sleep® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last Updated Date: 08/21/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 08/21/2013