Go to sleep, little one
Safe to Sleep® Recommendations Explained
Many people remember the “Back to Sleep” campaign that was initiated in the 1990s. Back to Sleep recommends babies should always be put to sleep on their backs for safety. Since the 1990s, the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), initially declined and now has plateaued for several years. This prompted the National Institutes of Health to recommend the slogan “Safe to Sleep®” in order to improve upon the initial recommendations and better educate families and communities on more comprehensive safe sleep recommendations.
Safe to Sleep® recommendations for infants from birth up until 1 year of life:
- Room sharing with an infant on a separate sleep surface is recommended. We tell families this means the baby sleeps in a crib or bassinet close to their caregiver’s bed for the first 6-12 months of their life.
- Back to sleep for every sleep. Side sleeping is unsafe and is not advised.
- Infants should sleep on firm surfaces, such as on a mattress in a safety-approved crib that is only covered by a fitted sheet. No soft objects or blankets should be in the crib or bassinet with the baby.
- Breastfeeding is recommended.
- Avoid smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth.
- Avoid alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth.
- Avoid overheating.
- Pregnant women should seek and obtain regular prenatal care.
- Infants should be immunized per CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations.
Can my baby sleep in a bedside sleeper or their sleep environment in bed with me?
Bedside sleepers are attached to the side of the caregiver’s bed and in-bed sleepers are not recommended since there are no studies examining safety in infants as it relates to SIDs
Can my baby sleep in their car seat or a swing?
Sitting devices, such as car seats, strollers, swings, infant carriers, and infant slings, are not recommended for routine sleep in the hospital or at home, particularly for young infants.
Why does it matter?
Every year in Minnesota 50 or more babies die from SIDs. We want to keep these babies safe and healthy from unintentional sleep injuries by following the “Safe to Sleep®” recommendations. If you have further questions or concerns about safe sleep you can make an appointment to come in and see us with your infant at the Pediatric Clinic.
Nichole Castillo, APRN, PNP is a Hennepin Healthcare pediatric provider who sees patients in the Clinic & Specialty Center’s Pediatric Clinic and in our Richfield Clinic. She has a special interest in Latino families and new immigrants.