A Parents’ Guide to Safe Sleep Helping You to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

Guide to Safe Sleep Helping You to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

Did You Know?

You can reduce your baby’s risk of dying of SIDS by talking to those who care for your baby, including child care providers, babysitters, family, and friends, about placing your baby to sleep on his back at night and during naps.

Who is at Risk for SIDS?:

What can I do before my baby is born to reduce the risk of SIDS?

Take care of yourself during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby. During pregnancy, before you even give birth, you can reduce the risk of your baby dying from SIDS! Don’t smoke or expose yourself to others’ smoke while you are pregnant and after the baby is born. Be sure to visit a physician for regular prenatal checkups to reduce your risk of having a low birth weight or premature baby. Breastfeed your baby, if possible, at least through the first year of life.

Know the truth…SIDS is not caused by:

what can I do to help spread the word about Back to Sleep?

It is easy and free to make safe sleep practices a part of your daily life.

This way, you will know that you are doing all that you can to keep your baby healthy and safe. Do your best to follow the guidelines above.

Where is the safest place for my baby to sleep?

The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep. Place the baby’s crib or bassinet near your bed (within an arm’s reach). This makes it easier to breastfeed and to bond with your baby.

The crib or bassinet should be free from toys, soft bedding, blankets, and pillows.

How can I reduce my baby’s risk?

Follow these guidelines to help you reduce your baby’s risk of dying from SIDS.

Safe Sleep Practices

Safe Sleep Environment

Talk about safe sleep practices with everyone who cares for your baby!

When looking for someone to take care of your baby, including a child care provider, a family member, or a friend, make sure that you talk with this person about safe sleep practices. Bring this fact sheet along to help, if needed. If a caregiver does not know the best safe sleep practices, respectfully try to teach the caregiver what you have learned about safe sleep practices and the importance of following these rules when caring for infants. Before leaving your baby with anyone, be sure that person agrees that the safe sleep practices explained in this brochure will be followed all of the time.

Is it ever safe to have babies on their tummies?

Yes! You should talk to your child care provider about making tummy time a part of your baby’s daily activities. Your baby needs plenty of tummy time while supervised and awake to help build strong neck and shoulder muscles. Remember to also make sure that your baby is having tummy time at home with you.

Tummy to Play and Back to Sleep

American Academy of Pediatrics
The Changing Concept of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Diagnostic Coding Shifts, Controversies Regarding the Sleeping Environment, and New Variables to Consider in Reducing Risk
Healthy Child Care America
National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education
Healthy Kids, Healthy Care: A Parent Friendly Tool on Health and Safety Issues in Child Care
National Institute for Child and Human Development Back to Sleep Campaign
Order free educational materials from the Back to Sleep Campaign at
First Candle/SIDS Alliance
Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs
CJ Foundation for SIDS
National SIDS and Infant Death Resource Center
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association

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