Babies and toddlers need to sleep! They also need to sleep safely – every time.
With safe sleep, you can help protect your baby from Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) or other injury.
Safe sleep practices for newborns and infants (0 to 11 months):
- Place baby to sleep on his backfor every sleep. After he’s 6 months old, set him on his back to sleep, but then let him find a comfortable sleeping position. As he grows, he may move around more while he sleeps. Just be sure he starts out on his back.
- Place babies on a firm sleeping surface.
- Never put soft objects, loose bedding, bumper pads, wedges, infant positioners, or other loose objects in the baby’s sleep area.
- Don’t use loose bedding such as sheets and blankets. Use sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets.
- Sleep only one baby per crib.
- Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult wearing light clothes.
- Keep any room your baby sleeps in is free from secondhand and third-hand smoke.
- Have supervised daily “tummy time” for babies who are awake. This helps strengthen their neck muscles. With stronger neck muscles, they are more able to readjust their own head if they’re having trouble breathing while asleep.
- Share a room (but not a bed) with your baby, so you can respond to your baby’s needs quickly.
- Teach everyone who cares for your baby how to use safe-sleep practices.
- Consider using a pacifier during naps and bedtime, especially if you are bottle feeding. If you are breastfeeding, don’t offer a pacifier until after your baby is 1 month old or has a nursing routine. Babies who are breastfeeding may not benefit from a pacifier. For more information, see the Mayo Clinic and Aha! Parenting’s article “Are pacifiers necessary to protect against SIDS?”.
Safe sleep practices for toddlers (ages 1-2 years):
- You can let your toddler (but not an infant) sleep with a blanket or safe comfort object.
- Continue to put your toddler to sleep in a crib.
- Make sure the crib is clear of large toys or items with ties or strings and other items that could cause suffocation.
- Remove things your child could grab while standing in her crib (like toys, curtains, or pictures) and that she might try to climb to get out of her crib.