Guidelines for Infant Sleep Safety
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), there are around 3,500 sleep related deaths among babies in the United States each year. Safe sleep practices are designed to reduce the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation, and other deaths related to unsafe sleep practices. Thanks to safe sleep practices, sleep-related deaths like SIDS are on the decline, however, it is important that all health providers and parents know how to create a safe sleep environment.
At Lake Cumberland, we are committed to helping our patients create safe sleep environments for their babies, starting from your baby’s very first night at our facility. Once you arrive home with your little one, our experts recommend following the ABCDs of safe sleep:
A STANDS FOR ALONE
- Baby should always sleep alone – not with an adult, other children, or anyone else.
- Keep your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep (for the infant's first year). Room sharing, not bed sharing. Always place the baby in a safety-approved crib, bassinet, or portable crib for sleep.
B STANDS FOR BACK
- Always place a baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night, to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Once baby is rolling over on his/her own during sleep, it is OK to let baby sleep that way.
C STANDS FOR CRIB
- Baby should sleep in a safe crib or play yard, with a snug mattress and tight-fitting sheet.
- There should be NOTHING in the crib with baby – no pillows, blankets, quilts, bumper pads, soft toys, stuffed animals, comforters, etc.
- Blankets should be replaced with an infant sleep sack or a one-piece sleeper.
- Babies should not sleep on couches, adult beds, bean bags, air mattresses, or soft mattresses.
- Babies should not be put to sleep in swings, recliners, infant seats, car seats, Rock and Plays, or other infant care products that are not a crib, bassinets, or pack-and-play.
D STANDS FOR DANGER
- Make sure you are always aware - not impaired.
- DO NOT smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs while in care of your infant. It increases the risk of an unsafe sleep-related incident and impairs the ability to properly provide care.
OTHER IMPORTANT SAFE SLEEP TIPS
- NO smoking around your infant or in your infant's sleep environment.
- Make sure your baby does not get overheated.
- Breastfeed your baby. Research shows breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS.
- Give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS after breastfeeding is established.
- Supervised Skin to Skin is recommended to all mothers and infants immediately following birth regardless of feeding or delivery, (as soon as mother is medically stable, awake, and able to respond to her newborn) and to continue for at least an hour. Once mother starts to get sleepy, return baby to the bassinet.
- Follow health care provider guidance on your baby's vaccines and regular health check-ups.
Learn more about infant safe sleep practices from Safe Sleep Kentucky.