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Safe to Sleep: Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Safe to Sleep: Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

  • Position: Always place the infant on the infant’s back to sleep, for naps and at night.

  • Surface: Place the infant on a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet.

  • Bedding: Keep soft objects, toys, blankets, and other loose bedding out of the infant’s sleep area.

  • No smoking: Do not allow smoking around the infant. Not smoking during pregnancy is also important.

  • Location: Set up the infant’s sleep area close to but separate from the sleep area of the parents and other children.

  • Pacifiers: Consider offering the infant a clean, dry pacifier when placing the infant down to sleep.

  • Temperature: Do not let the infant overheat during sleep.

Home monitors and products that claim to prevent sudden infant death syndrome do not seem helpful.

To help prevent flat spots from developing on the infant's head, infants should spend some time on their tummy when they are awake and someone is watching them. To help make the infant's head round, parents should change the direction that the infant lies in while in the crib each week and avoid leaving the infant for too long in car seats, carriers, and bouncers.

Adapted from The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Safe to Sleep® campaign).