Sudden Infant Death, or SIDS, occurs before 1 year of age and is often sleep-related. SIDS remains a significant problem in the U.S. It is important for new mothers to have a good understanding of the recommendations regarding infant sleep to keep their new baby safe and healthy.

Recommendations to reduce to risk of SIDS:

  1. Back to sleep for every sleep. Infants should be placed on their backs every time they sleep, including naps until they are 1 year of age. If swaddled, the infant should always be placed on the back. If the infant exhibits signs of attempting to roll, swaddling should no longer be used. Tummy time is recommended to help develop upper shoulder strength and prevent flattening of the back of the head but should only occur when the infant is awake and supervised.
  2. Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib. The mattress should not be a waterbed or made of memory foam. It can be covered by a fitted sheet. Infants should not sleep on a couch or in a carrier, sling, car seat, or stroller.
  3. Share a room, not a bed. Infants should sleep in a crib or bassinet in the caregiver’s bedroom until the age of 1. It is important that the infant has a separate place to sleep.
  4. Soft objects and bedding should not be used in the infant’s sleep area. Soft objects include pillows, toys, quilts, comforters, bumper pads, and loose bedding. Infant sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket, is preferable.
  5. Breastfeeding. Unless contraindicated, mothers should breastfeed for 6 months. It is okay to breastfeed in bed but remove any bedding or pillows and return the infant to the crib immediately afterward.
  6. Try using a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. Pacifiers should not be hung around the infant’s neck, attached to the infant’s clothing, or have objects, such as stuffed toys, attached to them. It is okay if the pacifier falls out or the infant refuses.
  7. Avoid smoke exposure, alcohol, and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth. Smoke-free homes and cars should be strictly enforced.
  8. Avoid overheating and head covering in infants. Infants should be dressed in only one more layer than an adult would wear to be comfortable in the environment. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
  9. Stay up to date on pre- and post-natal care and infant immunizations.
  10. Please speak with your provider if there are any questions regarding your infant’s current sleep situation.

All information is provided by:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

March of Dimes

Safe to Sleep