Safe Infant Sleep and SIDS Prevention

Sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. Here at Hennepin Healthcare, we teach, practice, and model safe sleep for infants and their families.

What does "safe sleep" mean?

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. Here at Hennepin Healthcare, we teach, practice, and model safe sleep for infants and their families.

Here are the simple steps you can take at home to create a safe sleep environment for your baby and to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.

  • Always place a baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.
  • Use a flat, firm sleep surface, covered by a fitted sheet. A crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard that conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended.
  • Do not allow your baby to sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
  • Until your baby is a year old, keep your baby's sleep area in the same room where you sleep. Share your room, but not your bed. Always place the baby in a safety-approved crib, bassinet, or portable crib for sleep.
  • Do not place your baby in a sitting device like a bouncy seat, swing, infant carrier or stroller for routine sleep.
  • Keep soft objects such as pillows, blankets, toys, and bumpers out of your baby's sleep area.
  • Do not use wedges and positioners.
  • Do not smoke during pregnancy or allow smoking around your baby.
  • Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep. Babies don't usually need a hat after they leave the hospital unless they go outside.
  • Breastfeed your baby. After a month, when breastfeeding has been well established, give your baby a pacifier when you lay baby down to sleep. Make sure that the pacifier doesn't have any strings attached to it.
  • Don't let yourself or anyone else fall asleep holding a baby. Skin to skin contact is great for new babies and their parents. However, if the parent that is holding the baby becomes sleepy, the baby should be placed safely to sleep in their own safe sleep environment.
  • Follow your healthcare provider's advice on your baby's vaccines and regular health checkups.
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