Parents may unknowingly place their infants at increased risk of death by placing them in unsafe sleep situations. The following precautions are offered to help prevent sleep-related infant deaths.
- Infants should always sleep on their backs.*
- Infants should never sleep on waterbeds, sofas, recliners, futons, bean bag chairs, soft mattresses or other soft surfaces.
- Donât allow smoking in homes where infants live, especially in infantsâ sleep areas.
- Donât use soft bedding such as quilts, sheepskins, fluffy blankets or comforters.
- An infantâs head should always be uncovered when sleeping.
- Keep infants away from drapes, curtains, venetian blinds and their cords.
*Infants should be given time on their tummies while awake and supervised by a responsible person.
- Do not place near furnace vent, radiator, space heater or other heat source.
- Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other stuffed items.
- Use firm, well-fitting mattress.
- Never have spaces between the mattress and the crib where infant could be trapped.
- Never use loose-fitting bedding.
- Do not use hand-me-down (or other used) cribs or bassinets unless they meet current safety standards.
- Place the crib in the room where parents sleep.
The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a safety-approved crib or bassinet in the same room with a parent or caregiver. Adult beds are not designed for babies and may carry a risk of accidental entrapment and suffocation. But if parents choose to share a sleep surface (co-sleep) with their infants, the following precautions are offered.
- Siblings or adults other than the parents should never sleep with an infant.
- Avoid crevices between the mattress and a wall that could entrap an infant.
- Parents should never sleep with infant if the parent is:
- a smoker,
- under the influence of alcohol,
- using illegal drugs,
- taking medication that causes sleepiness,
- unusually tired,
- very upset or angry, or
- obese or severely overweight.