An awake adult should supervise awake tummy time. This helps with your baby’s motor development and prevents flat head syndrome. Start with a short amount of tummy time soon after you get home from the hospital. Gradually increase the time until your baby is doing at least 15 to 30 minutes of tummy time every day by […]
Schedule and go to all well-child care visits.
Regular check-ups help ensure your baby’s growth and development is on track. In addition, your baby will receive important immunizations at these well-child visits with your pediatrician. Evidence suggests that infant vaccinations may help protect against SIDS.
Get regular prenatal care and avoid substance use during pregnancy.
There’s strong evidence that routine prenatal care reduces your baby’s risk of SIDS. Also, avoid alcohol, marijuana, opioids or illicit drugs during pregnancy and after your baby is born. The risk of SIDS is higher when babies are exposed to alcohol or illicit substances.
Don’t smoke or use nicotine during pregnancy or after your baby is born.
Smoking while you’re pregnant, and smoke in your baby’s environment after birth, are significant risk factors for SIDS. Don’t smoke anywhere near your baby, even if you’re outside. This includes vaping and electronic cigarettes, which contain nicotine. Keep your car and home smoke-free. Get rid of secondhand smoke in any areas your baby and other nonsmokers […]
Try giving your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
This helps reduce the risk of SIDS, even if the pacifier falls out after your baby is asleep. But keep in mind: If your baby is breastfed, wait until breastfeeding is established before offering a pacifier. That means your milk supply is good, breastfeeding is comfortable and consistent, your baby is latching well and they’re gaining weight […]
Feed your baby breast milk.
Evidence shows that human milk reduces the risk of SIDS. The longer you give your baby breast milk, the more protection it gives. Breastfeed or feed your baby expressed breast milk. The AAP recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. Even after you add solid foods to your baby’s […]
Do not use alcohol and substances that can impair your ability to care for your infant.
Substance Use Can Increase Risks for an Unsafe Sleep Space for Baby It’s important to be aware of how alcohol, cannabis (marijuana, THC, pot), opioids, illicit drug use, and some medicines can affect your decision-making, especially when it comes to how and where baby sleeps. Infant accidental suffocation deaths can happen when parents or caregivers […]
Be cautious when buying certain products.
Avoid baby products that aren’t consistent with safe sleep recommendations. This is especially true for products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS or other sleep-related infant deaths. There’s just no evidence that this is true. If you’re not sure about a specific product, check the CPSC website. Don’t use home cardiorespiratory monitors as a way […]
Swaddle your baby if you like, but follow some important guidance.
Make sure that your baby is always on their back when swaddled. The swaddle should not be too tight or make it hard for your baby to breathe or move their hips. When your baby looks like they’re trying to roll over, you should stop swaddling them. The risk of suffocation is higher if your baby rolls to […]
Don’t let your baby get overheated.
Overheating can increase the risk of SIDS. Your baby only needs one more layer than you would wear in the same environment to be comfortable. Check your baby for signs of overheating such as sweating, a hot chest or flushed skin. Don’t put a hat on your baby while indoors once you’re home from the hospital.
Never place your baby to sleep on a couch, sofa, or armchair.
Learn More This is an extremely dangerous place for your baby to sleep. Also, don’t care for your baby on a couch, sofa, or armchair if you are tired and might fall asleep with them.
Do not let your child fall asleep on nursing pillows or pillow-like lounging pads.
Learn More Babies may roll over onto their sides or stomachs and turn their heads into the soft fabric and suffocate. Or, when propped up on an incline against the pillow or lounger, their heads can fall forward, blocking their airway. Babies do not need the soft padding of pillow.
Instead of bed sharing, room share with your baby.
Learn More This means keeping your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep for at least the first 6 months. Place your baby’s crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard in your bedroom, close to your bed. The AAP recommends room sharing because it can decrease the risk of SIDS by as much as […]
Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.
Learn More These objects can increase your baby’s risk of entrapment, suffocation or strangulation. This includes pillows and pillow-like toys, quilts, comforters, mattress toppers, non-fitted sheets, blankets, toys, bumper pads or related products that attach to crib slats or sides. If you’re worried about your baby getting cold, you can dress them in layers of […]
Never sleep with your baby.
Learn More Based on the evidence, the AAP doesn’t recommend bed sharing with your baby under any circumstances. This includes twins and other multiples. If you bring your baby into your bed to feed or comfort them, place them in their own sleep space when you’re ready to go to sleep. If there is any […]
Put your baby on their back for all naps and at night.
Learn More Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die suddenly and unexpectedly than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides. The problem with the side position is that your baby can roll more easily onto their stomach. Some parents worry that babies will choke when they’re on their backs. […]
Use a firm and flat sleep surface.
Learn More A firm surface means that it shouldn’t indent when your baby is lying on it. Any surface that inclines more than 10 degrees isn’t safe for your baby to sleep on. Place your baby in a crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard that meets the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Check […]