All caregivers – parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, babysitters, and childcare providers – should know how to help babies sleep safely. Research shows that there are some effective ways to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death. It is as simple as following these A, B, C, Ds for every sleep:
A is for Sleeping Alone.
Babies should always sleep in their own area and surface, such as a crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard.
- No pillows, blankets, crib bumpers or stuffed animals in the sleep area.
- Keep your baby in the same room with you, but not in the same bed.
B is for sleeping on their Back
Placing babies on their backs for every sleep lowers the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID, also known as SIDS) and other sleep-related deaths.
- Babies are less likely to suffocate on other objects or their own gases when they are on their backs.
- If your baby rolls over on their own during sleep from back to stomach, there is no need to roll the baby over to their back again. Starting sleep on the back is the most important for reducing SIDS risk. Once your baby starts rolling, make sure to swaddle them with arms out, or stop swaddling and switch to a wearable blanket.
C is for Sleeping in Their Crib
Choose a crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard that follows the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. For more information on crib safety, contact the CPSC at 800.638.2772 or cpsc.gov.
- Your baby should always sleep on a firm, flat surface with a fitted sheet.
- Babies should never sleep on a sofa, arm chair or couch.
- Only bring your baby into your bed to feed or comfort. Place your baby back in the crib when you’re ready to sleep.
D is for Don’t Smoke around the Baby
Keep baby zones smoke-free. Exposure to cigarette smoke both before and after birth increases the chances of SIDS.
- As a parent, if you smoke, keep your car and home smoke-free.
- Make sure people who smoke wash their hands and change their clothes before holding your baby.
Learn more about safe sleep guidelines and tips from St. Louis Children's Hospital.