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Who we are and what we do

First Candle is a Connecticut-based 501(c)3 non-profit committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths while providing bereavement support to families who have experienced a loss.


Years in existence


Infant deaths per year to prevent


% reduction - thanks to our charity

In 1994 we partnered with the National Institutes of Health on the Back to Sleep campaign, which led to a reduction in the rate of SIDS by more than 50%.

Nonetheless, sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), which includes SIDS and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (ASSB) remains the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age, resulting in 3,600 infant deaths nationwide per year. Infant mortality rates in the U.S are also higher than in the 20 most developed nations.

Our purpose is clear: saving babies and supporting families.  Partnering with local organizations throughout the country, we help them share with new and expectant parents – in a culturally sensitive way – the importance of providing a safe sleep environment for their baby. And for those families who have tragically suffered a loss, we are here to offer bereavement support and counsel.

We are a national member in good standing of Community Health Charities, have a Gold ranking on Guide Star, and a 3-star ranking on Charity Navigator. We are proud to maintain administrative costs well below the nonprofit industry standard of 25 percent.

How to help:

Donate xyz

Bequests and planned giving



Become a Safe Sleep Guardian


Your help will:

Increase the number of safe sleep educators we can train and send out into the field.

Allow us to expand our 24/7 bereavement network.

Help us to be a voice advocating for all moms and babies

We can also help you.

Sign up for knowledge. Join our email list for news about activities, advances, challenges and alerts in relevant areas of maternal and infant health.

Bookmark First Candle. Visit our website and blog page not only for news but to use our library of materials ranging from how parents can create a safe sleep environment, to bereavement coping tools and how to memorialize a lost infant.

More info

Special thanks to our supporters: