Ways to Reduce Risk Factors
At this time there is no known way to prevent all sudden infant deaths, but there are lifesaving steps parents and caregivers can take to help protect their baby from SIDS and SUID, including suffocation and accidents during sleep.
- Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs. Side and tummy sleep positions are not safe.
- Do not fall asleep with a baby in an adult bed or on a sofa. Bring them in bed to breastfeed and bond, but when it’s time to fall asleep, place them alongside your bed in a separate, safe sleep space.
- Do not smoke while you are pregnant and do not expose babies to second-hand smoke after they are born. New research also warns of the dangers of third-hand smoke, the chemicals left behind on clothing, in homes and in cars.
- For sleep, use a safety-approved crib, portable crib, play yard or bassinet with a firm mattress that fits snuggly and is covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet. Place your baby’s separate, safe sleep space alongside where you sleep for at least the first six months.
- Do not place babies to sleep on soft surfaces such as adult beds, waterbeds, sofas, chairs, quilts, and sheepskins.
- Do not use loose blankets in a baby’s crib. Layer clothing or use a wearable blanket or other sleeper clothing to keep baby warm AND safe during sleep.
- Remove all soft bedding and other soft items from the sleep area, including pillows, blankets, quilts, bumper pads and stuffed animals or toys, before placing the baby to sleep.
- Do not use positioners or wedges to prop your baby or keep him on his back. These products have not been tested for their ability to keep babies on their backs or for their safety.
- Take care not to overheat babies with too much clothing or too warm of room. Keep temperature at what would be comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
- Use a pacifier at naptime and nighttime for the first year.
- Educate everyone you know who cares for babies about these important safety tips!