Infant Sleep Safety Awareness: National Inst. Child Health Safe To Sleep · Charlie’s Kids.org · SIDS Center of N.J. · Safety-Approved Cribs · NJ Hotline: (800) 545-7437
Every year, around 3,500 babies in the United States die suddenly and unexpectedly while they’re sleeping. Most of these tragic deaths are due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental deaths from suffocation or strangulation. Although there’s no guaranteed way to prevent SIDS, research tells us that a safe sleep environment can help reduce your baby’s risk:
Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die suddenly and unexpectedly than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides. The problem with the side position is that your baby can roll more easily onto their stomach.
Place your baby in a crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard that meets the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
A firm, flat sleep surface means that it shouldn’t indent when your baby is lying on it. Any surface that inclines more than 10 degrees isn’t safe. Make sure your crib mattress is designed for your specific crib and that it fits tightly. Use a fitted sheet only —- nothing else should be in the crib with your baby.
Institute and supervise tummy time. This helps with your baby’s motor development and prevents flat head syndrome. Start with a short amount of tummy time soon after you get home from the hospital. Gradually increase the time until your baby is doing at least 15 to 30 minutes of tummy time every day by the time they’re 7 weeks old.
Swaddling doesn’t reduce the risk of SIDS, so make sure that your baby is always on their back when swaddled. When your baby looks like they’re trying to roll over, you should stop swaddling them. Don’t use swaddles, weighted blankets, sleepers, or other weighted objects on or near your baby.
If you’re worried about your baby getting cold, you can dress them in layers of clothing or use a wearable blanket. In general, you should dress your baby in only one layer more than you’re wearing.