When it comes to safe sleep for babies, there are several things to consider. Among these are the sleeping position, the crib and the sleep environment. In this post, we are going to look at infant safe sleep.

The Sleeping Position

Position is one of the most important parts of ensuring safe sleep for an infant. SIDS is the most common cause of sleep-related death for infants, and using the correct sleeping position is one of the best ways to reduce the risk.

The correct sleep position for babies under a year old is on their back. Infants need to be laid down on their back for every sleep.  Once the infant can roll it is acceptable to let them sleep in the position they assume, however, if the infant is less than 6 months old, parents would sign an optional DHS form acknowledging they know their infant rolls in order to leave them in that position.

Where Should a Baby Sleep

At home, the recommendation for infant sleep is now for the infant to sleep in the parent’s room but on a different surface than with the parents. Studies have shown that sleep-related deaths are reduced when infants sleep in the same room as their parents.  At child care, it is best that infants sleep where they are within sight and sound of staff at all times.

The Sleeping Surface

At home, the first rule is that an infant should not share a bed with anyone and they should not be left to sleep in a regular bed of any sort. On a standard bed, there is a chance that the infant could fall off the bed or get stuck in the area between the bed and the wall. Additionally, they could suffocate on items in the bed or someone could accidentally roll over onto the infant as they sleep.  In child care, infants need to be put in their crib, on their back, for every sleep. The correct type of sleeping surface is that of a crib with a firm mattress with a fitted sheet appropriate to the size of the mattress that cannot be easily dislodged.

The Sleep Environment

Beyond sleeping in a crib with a firm mattress and fitted sheets, you want to take care with what is placed in an infant’s sleep environment. Infants should sleep in a bare crib that just has the mattress and fitted sheet.  No using things like cushions, pillows, positioners or bumper pads.  All of these items present a risk of suffocation if the baby rolls over as they sleep and are not allowed in the licensed child care setting.

Rmember to follow the ABC’s of Safe Sleep:  Infants should sleep Alone, On their Back, and in their Crib for every sleep!