Safe Sleep

The best place for your baby to sleep is in a bassinet or crib. If you have multiples (twins, triplets or more), put each baby in his own bassinet or crib. Here’s what you can do to make sure your baby’s sleeping in a safe place:

  • Put your baby to sleep on his back on a flat, firm surface, like a crib mattress covered with a tightly fitted sheet. Use only the mattress made for your baby’s crib. The mattress should fit snugly in the crib so there are no spaces between the mattress and the crib frame. The mattress shape should stay firm even when covered with a tightly fitted sheet or mattress cover. Always buy a new mattress and never a used one to ensure safety.
  • Put your baby to bed in his own crib or bassinet. Don’t bed-share. This is when babies and parents sleep together in the same bed. Bed-sharing is the most common cause of death in babies younger than 3 months old. Keep your baby’s crib close to your bed so your baby’s nearby during the night. The American Academy of Pediatrics (also called AAP) recommends that you and your baby sleep in the same room, but not in the same bed, for the first year of your baby’s life but at least for the first 6 months.
  • Use a bassinet, crib or play yard that meets current safety standards. Don’t use cribs with drop-side rails. Don’t try to fix a crib that has broken or missing parts.
  • Keep crib bumpers, loose bedding, toys, blankets and other soft objects out of your baby’s crib. They put your baby in danger of getting trapped, strangled or of suffocating. It’s best if you baby sleeps in her own crib or bassinet.
  • Don’t let your baby sleep in his carrier, sling, car seat or stroller. Babies who sleep in these items can suffocate. If your baby falls asleep in one of them, take her out and put her in her crib as soon as you can.
  • Don’t put your baby to sleep on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress or other soft surface. Portable bed rails don’t always prevent a baby from rolling out of bed. Babies can get stuck in them and choke.
  • Remove any hanging window cords or electrical wires near where your baby sleeps. Babies can get tangled in them and choke.
  • Never use wedges or positioners to prop your baby up or keep him on his back.
  • Don’t allow anyone to smoke around your baby (2nd hand) or take your baby to a room or car where someone has recently smoked (3rd hand).

Key Points

  • Put your baby to sleep on his back on a flat, firm surface, like a crib or bassinet.
  • Don’t bed-share. Put your baby to sleep in his own crib or bassinet.
  • Safe sleep can help protect your baby from sudden infant death syndrome (also called SIDS) and other dangers