To prevent sleep-related deaths due to unsafe sleeping environments, Cribs for Kids®, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Consumer Products Safety Commission and most safe sleep experts recommend these guidelines:
The safest way for your baby to sleep is on the back, alone in a safety-approved crib with no pillows, no bumper pads, no stuffed animals, and no comforters.
The baby’s crib should be in the parents’ room, if possible. It should have a firm mattress that is closely fitted to the sides of the crib, and a tight-fitting sheet.
Take care of yourself and your baby – eat well and see your doctor regularly; get all required immunizations for your baby.
Do not overheat your baby – if you’re comfortable, baby is comfortable.
No smoking around baby – this goes for you and anyone else around your baby; smoke increases the risk of an unsafe sleep environment and other health problems.
Breastfeed your baby if you can – breastfed babies have less colds and ear infections.
Consider offering a pacifier – at nap time and bedtime once breastfeeding has been established.
Your baby’s crib should have:
- Railings that are not more than 2⅜ inches apart. (You should not be able to fit a soda can through them.)
- A firm mattress that fits snugly in the frame.
- A fitted sheet that is tight around the mattress.
- No quilts, comforters, duvets, heavy blankets, stuffed animals, bumper pads, sheepskins, etc. These items can obstruct the baby’s breathing.
A Halo SleepSack is recommended.
More than 4,000 sudden, unexpected infant deaths occur each year. Research shows that up to 90% of these deaths are the result of placing babies to sleep in unsafe sleeping environments. THESE DEATHS ARE PREVENTABLE.
DO NOT BEDSHARE – the act of bringing an infant into a sleep environment with adults, other children, or pets puts the baby in danger of suffocating, either by being smothered in bedding; by positional asphyxia, which occurs when a baby’s position prevents them person from breathing adequately; or by being accidentally rolled over by a sleeping companion (overlay).
ROOMSHARE – Babies should sleep on close, but separate, surface in the same room as the caregiver.
A BABY WHO BEDSHARES IS AT 40 TIMES GREATER RISK OF DYING.
For more information about safe sleep, download the free brochures below. Use them to educate yourself and anyone who provides care to your baby. If you would like to discuss this issue further or have any questions, click <HERE> to visit our ‘Ask the Pediatrician’ page.