Safe Sleep for Your Baby

About 3,500 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States. Most of these deaths result from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death, such as suffocation.

Safe to Sleep® campaign launched in 1994. Formerly the Back to Sleep campaign.

Mission: to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

SIDS. The proportion of infants placed on their backs to sleep increased from 27% to 73%.

Graphic: A pair of pie charts showing the proportion of infants placed on their backs to sleep increased from 27% in 1993 to 73% in 2010.

Graphic: Bar graph titled Number of SIDS Deaths. The graph shows the number of SIDS deaths decreased from 4,073 in 1994 to 1,545 in 2014.

Graphic: Bar graph titled Number of Other Sleep-related Infant Deaths. The graph shows that the number of other sleep-related infant deaths increased from 903 in 1994 to 1,945 in 2014.

60%. The U.S. SIDS rate dropped more than 60% between 1994 and 2014. However, the rate of infant deaths from other sleep-related causes has increased.

Safe Sleep Environment

To reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death:

  • Always place baby on his or her back to sleep for all sleep times, including naps.
    Graphic: Illustration of baby lying on back to sleep.
  • Room share—keep the baby’s sleep area in the same room, next to your sleep area.
    Graphic: Illustration representing room sharing showing a baby’s crib and an adult bed next to each other.
  • Use a firm sleep surface free from soft objects, toys, blankets, and crib bumpers.
    Graphic: Illustration of a baby sleeping in a crib alone.

Learn more about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death at http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov.

Graphic: Logo of the Safe to Sleep campaign.

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Graphic: Logo of the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Links to https://www.nichd.nih.gov/Pages/index.aspx

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