Infant Safe Sleep

Infant Sleep Safety

Making sure a baby is safe when they sleep is important. Babies can suffocate if their airways become blocked by soft objects like blankets, pillows, or other objects. They are also at risk if someone rolls onto them.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep alone, on their backs and in a crib or bassinet that is clear of everything else.

Parents provide many reasons for co-sleeping. It is important to know that co-sleeping is not safe!. Every year many children die due to co-sleeping

Reasons parents give for bed sharing/co-sleeping:

  • ·Lack of separate room

  • ·Lack of crib

  • Convenience – easier to feed baby, easier to check on baby during night

  • Safety – want to be able to see to keep safe

  • Parental comfort – bonding with baby due to lack of time for working parents

  • Depression - mom's suffering from depression increased bed sharing

What does a safe sleep environment look like?

  • Baby asleep alone and on their back

  • In the same room where their parents sleep

  • In an approved crib or bassinet with a firm surface

  • With tightly fitted sheets

  • No bumpers, pillows, blankets, loose bedding, or toys

  • No cords or other objects within baby's reach

What are other safety recommendations?

  • No smoking - during pregnancy or around the baby.

  • Each sleep counts - the same safety rules should be followed during naps as well as bedtime.

  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SUIDS (Sudden Unexpected  Infant Death Syndrome).

  • Couches, recliners, chairs, and other non-approved surfaces should never be used for a baby to sleep or nap - especially if they are sleeping with a caregiver.

  • Offer a pacifier at each nap and at bedtime. For breastfeeding babies, wait to offer the pacifier until breastfeeding is well-established (at about 4 weeks). Pacifiers should NOT be forced or attached to a baby or a baby's clothing.

  • Don't let baby get too hot during sleep - no more than one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear to be comfortable. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.

  • Follow your health care provider's guidance on vaccines and checkups

  • Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SUID.

  • Products such as wedges, positioners, monitors, etc. - have not been tested for safety or effectiveness and could possibly cause harm.

  • Give baby plenty of tummy time when baby is awake and supervised.


FL Dept of Children & Families                                                 American Academy of Pediatrics                                                                               National Institute for Child and Human Development Back to Sleep Campaign (Order free educational materials)