Putting your baby to sleep safely can help protect her from dangers, like choking and suffocation (not being able to breathe), and sudden infant death syndrome (also called SIDS). SIDS is the unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year old. SIDS usually happens when a baby is sleeping. It’s sometimes called crib death because the baby often dies in his crib. Unfortunately, each year there are about 3,500 sleep-related deaths among babies in the U.S.
How can you keep your baby safe when you put him to sleep?
All this sounds scary, but you can help keep your baby safe when you put him to sleep. The best place for your baby to sleep is in a bassinet or crib. If you have multiples (twins, triplets or more), put each baby in his own bassinet or crib. Here’s what else you can do to make sure your baby is sleeping in a safe place:
- Place your baby on her back at all sleep times until she’s 1 year old – this includes naps and at night.
- Put your baby to sleep on a flat, firm surface, like on a crib mattress covered with a tight fitted sheet (NOT on soft surfaces or in a carrier, sling, car seat or stroller).
- Remove any bedding, bumpers, mobile, toys, blankets or other soft objects from the crib or bassinet.
- Remove any window cords or electrical wires that your baby could get tangled in.
- Don’t use sleep positioners (pillows) to help keep your baby from moving.
- Give your baby a pacifier. If you’re breastfeeding, wait until your baby’s used to breastfeeding (3 to 4 weeks) before giving him a pacifier.
- Share a room with your baby, but not the same bed.
And remember that while you may know about how to create a safe sleep environment for your baby, other people may not. Grandparents, babysitters, and anyone else who may take care of your baby should be made aware of the importance of safe sleep.
Visit marchofdimes.org for more information about keeping your baby safe.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Angelcare. Angelcare’s mission is to give parents peace of mind while helping their children thrive. To learn more about our work together, visit marchofdimes.org/partners.
March of Dimes does not endorse specific brands of products.