There are three simple steps you can take to ensure your baby is sleeping safely and reduce his risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Learning the ABCs of safe sleep is important for all caregivers -- including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, childcare providers, and anyone else who might care for a baby.


The ABCs of Safe Sleep

A - Alone
B - Back

Baby should always sleep alone. Not with other people, pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals.

Baby should always sleep on his or her back. Always place your baby to sleep on his or her back. If he rolls over, it is safe to leave him.

C - Crib

Baby should sleep in a crib or sleep space (ie. bassinet or pack and play, see FAQ page) that meets safety standards. Never place a baby to sleep on an adult bed, sofa, chair, cushion, inclined sleeper, or other soft surface.

Recommendations for Safe Sleep

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued its policy statement, SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment, to provide recommendations for building safe sleep environments.

Recommendations include:

Back to sleep for every sleep.

Infants should be placed to sleep on their backs for every sleep by every caregiver until the child reaches 1 year of age. Side sleeping is not safe, nor advised.

Use a firm sleep surface.

Infants should be placed on a firm sleep surface (ie. firm mattress in a crib) covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft objects to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation. Infants should never be left to sleep on sofas, chairs, or in sitting devices (ie. rock and play, inclined sleepers, mamaroos, swings, nap nannies, etc.). Soft bedding remains a risk for infants older than 4 months.

Breastfeeding is recommended.

Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS. Unless contraindicated, it is recommended that mothers breastfeed exclusively or feed with expressed milk for six months, in alignment with recommendations from the AAP.

Roomshare without bedsharing.

Infants should sleep in their parents' room, close to the parents' bed but on a separate surface for at least six months, preferably a year.

Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.

It's okay if your infant doesn't want to use the pacifier and you do not have to put the pacifier back in if it falls out. Remember to not use pacifiers that attach to infant clothing or attached to objects, such as stuffed toys or other items that may be a suffocation or choking risk.