Where Baby Sleeps
Always place your baby on the back to sleep at nighttime and naptime. This is the safest sleep position for a healthy baby to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since 1992, when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) first stated that infants should be placed on their backs to sleep, the occurrence of SIDS has fallen by half.
Place your baby in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and a well-fitting sheet. The safest place for your baby’s crib is in your room.
A safe crib has:
• A firm mattress
• A mattress that fits tightly into crib (No more than 2 fingers can fit between edge of mattress and side of crib)
• NO loose, missing or broken screws
• NO loose hinges or slats
• NO more than 2 3/8” between the slats (about the width of a soda can)
• NO corner posts over 1/16” high
(Cradles and bassinets may be used, but choose those that are JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certified for safety).
Reference: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). National SIDS/Infant Death Resource Center (NSIDRC).
Toys and other soft bedding should not be placed in the crib with the baby. These items can lessen the baby’s ability to breathe if they cover his or her face.
Crib should contain:
• ONLY a tight, fitted crib sheet
• NO fluffy blankets
• NO comforters
• NO pillows
• NO stuffed animals
• NO bumper pads
• NO wedges
Reference: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Safe Sleep Environment
• Set room temperature in a range that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult
• Keep baby’s head uncovered
• Dress the baby lightly for sleep
• Consider using a sleeper or other sleep clothing instead of blankets
• Do not overwrap baby in clothing and blankets
• Keep baby’s temperature comfortable.
Your baby may be too hot if you notice:
• Damp hair
• Flushed cheeks
• Heat rash
• Rapid breathing
Reference: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Healthy Child Care America.
“Fan use appears to be a low-cost, low-risk intervention; however, employing prospective validation to prove that fan use is protective is unlikely to occur given the relative infrequency of SIDS and the number of children that would have to be followed."
Reference: “Use of a Fan During Sleep and the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” Coleman-Phox K, Odouli R, Li DK Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162:963-968
Remember to talk with your baby’s child care providers, grandparents, other family members, babysitters and all caregivers about the importance of placing your baby on their back to sleep every time even for naps. About one in five SIDS deaths occur while an infant is in the care of someone other than a parent. Many of these deaths occur when babies who are used to sleeping on their backs at home are then put to sleep on their tummies by another caregiver. We sometimes call this “unaccustomed tummy sleeping.” Unaccustomed tummy sleeping increases the risk of SIDS. Babies who are used to sleeping on their backs and are put to sleep on their tummies are 6-9 times more likely to die from SIDS.
Resources: Journal of Pediatrics, October 2008,
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)