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Creating a Safe Sleep Environment for Infants


​​​A common question from new parents is when will their baby start sleeping through the night. But a larger concern should be how can they keep their baby safe while sleeping. Creating a safe sleep environment for baby reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which can happen to infants while sleeping. An easy way to keep baby safe while they sleep is to follow the ABCs – your baby will sleep safest Alone, on their Back and in a Crib.

Sleeping Alone

During their first year, the safest place for baby to sleep is alone in their own bed, either a crib or bassinet. If you bring your baby to your bed to feed or comfort, make sure you place them back in their crib to sleep. An adult bed has a soft mattress, pillows, sheets and comforters that can increase the risk of suffocation, becoming trapped or falling. Just because you aren't sharing a bed doesn't mean your child has to be far from you though. Place their bed in your room; the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first 6-12 months.

Back to Sleep

Placing baby on their back is the safest sleep position. This applies to both naptime and bedtime sleeping. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • If baby rolls over, you don't need to move them to their back. Some babies are comfortable rolling to their stomach and to their back again.
  • Never use foam wedges, towels or anything else to keep baby from rolling onto their stomach.
  • Pillows, stuffed animals, blankets or soft, loose bedding should not be in the crib with baby.
  • Dress baby in appropriate sleep clothing such as a onesie or a sleep sack. Do not use a loose blanket.

Cribs and Mattresses

Cribs, bassinets, portable cribs and play yards are all appropriate places for your baby to sleep and are a part of creating a safe sleep environment for them.

  • Use a firm mattress on a flat sleep area (not a hammock or on an incline) in a safety approved crib, bassinet or portable crib.
  • Check to make sure the crib meets the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
  • Use tightly fitted sheets.
  • Do not use waterbeds, memory foam or pillow-top mattresses.
  • Do not let baby sleep on sofas, armchairs or easy chairs.
  • Do not use devices used for sitting, such as car seats or strollers, as regular sleep areas. If baby does fall asleep in a stroller or car seat, move them to their bed as soon as possible.
  • Avoid letting baby sleep while slumped over as it could block their airway while breathing.

Newborn;Sleep Tips Pediatrics