We know you want to keep your baby safe while they sleep. Tragically, more than 3,500 babies in the U.S. and around 130 babies in North Carolina die suddenly and unexpectedly every year while sleeping. In North Carolina, the overwhelming majority of these deaths are associated with unsafe sleep environments (for example, blankets in a crib, sleeping on an adult bed, or sleeping with another person in a bed or couch, etc.).
Below are recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help keep your baby safe while they sleep.
Research shows that babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides.
A crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard that meets the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended along with a tight-fitting, firm mattress and fitted sheet designed for that particular product. Nothing else should be in the crib except for the baby.
These include pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, blankets, toys, bumper pads or similar products that attach to crib slats or sides.
Place your baby’s crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard in your bedroom, close to your bed.
Keep your baby away from smokers and places where people smoke. If you are a smoker or you smoked during pregnancy, it is very important that you do not bed share with your baby. Also, keep your car and home smoke-free. Don’t smoke anywhere near your baby, even if you are outside.
during pregnancy to reduce the risk of SIDS.
It is very important not to bed share with your baby if you have been drinking alcohol or taken any medicines or illicit drugs that can make it harder for you to wake up.
Place your baby back in his or her own sleep space when you are ready to go to sleep. If there is any possibility that you might fall asleep, make sure there are no pillows, sheets, blankets, or any other items that could cover your baby’s face, head, and neck, or overheat your baby. As soon as you wake up, be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed.
This is an extremely dangerous place for your baby to sleep.
Click HERE to read more about situations that make bed sharing especially dangerous and how to reduce the risk of infant deaths associated with bed sharing.
If you are breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is going well (this is usually around 3-4 weeks) before offering a pacifier.
Dress your baby in sleep clothing. Try a onesie, pajamas, and use a sleep sack/wearable blanket if the room is cold. These are designed to keep baby warm without the need for blankets. Do not over bundle baby. Watch for signs of overheating, such as sweating or the baby’s chest feeling hot to the touch. Keep the baby’s face and head uncovered during sleep, so don’t have your baby wear a hoodie or hat while they sleep.
Recent evidence suggests that immunizations may have a protective effect against SIDS.
When your baby looks like he or she is trying to roll over, you should stop swaddling. Click HERE for more information.
Wedges, positioners, special mattresses and specialized sleep surfaces have not been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS, according to the AAP. Click HERE to read more about sleep positioners.
If you have questions about using these monitors for other health conditions, talk with your pediatrician.
Awake tummy time should be supervised by an awake adult.
For more detailed information about these recommendations from the AAP click HERE.
Additional Information & Resources: