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​Caring for Your Baby Begins with Safe Sleep


Safe sleep for your infant
Don’t turn your baby’s nap into a nightmare


Going to sleep with your infant in your arms may seem natural and loving, but the reality is that the chance of injury or even death from an adult accidentally smothering their baby or the baby falling out of bed is greater than you think.
About 3,700 infants die in the U.S. every year from sleep-related causes. Making sure your baby is safely put to sleep on their back and in their own crib – uncluttered by toys, pillows, blankets, etc. – reduces the chance of injury or death by 50 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be close to your baby when he or she is sleeping. Especially for infants, it’s a good idea to set up the crib near to where you’re sleeping so you can be alerted to any problems.



Know the ABC’s of Safe Sleep for your baby​ ​ ​

Alone: Share your room – not your bed. Your baby needs to sleep alone for his or her safety

b.png Back: Place your baby on his or her back in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress. Do this even for the shortest nap.
c.png Crib: Your baby should sleep by himself or herself, meaning no bedding, bumpers, stuffed animals or anything else that could suffocate your baby.


Dos and don’ts: Ensuring your baby’s happy – and healthy – sleep

  • Make sure your baby is sleeping on his or her back
  • Place your baby on a sleep surface that is firm and flat
  • Only use a tightly fitted sheet on the baby’s mattress – no other bedding
  • Keep the room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees


  • Allow your baby sleep on a couch, chair, waterbed, or other soft surface, either alone or with anyone else
  • Let your baby sleep with heavy blankets, pillows, or comforters  - these could cover your baby’s head and face
  • Put bumper pads, quilts, blankets, toys, etc. in your baby’s crib or sleep area
  • Let your baby sleep with another child or with a pet, or in an area where a pet could get in their bed


Make sure everyone in your house knows how your baby should sleep, including caregivers and babysitters: Safe sleep for babies is everyone’s responsibility!

Safe sleep needs a safe crib

If you’re using an older crib, make sure it was manufactured after June 28, 2011 to make sure it meets all safety guidelines, warns the Consumer Product Safety Commission. All cribs should have a label with the date of manufacture. 


Additional safety tips:
  • Make sure there are no missing screw and that all screws and hardware are property installed and tight.
  • Crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8 apart, or the width of a soda can.
  • Corner posts shouldn’t be more than 1/16th inches high to ensure your baby’s clothing doesn’t catch
  • Don’t use a crib with decorative cutouts in the headboard or foot board – these could catch your baby’s head.
  • If using a mesh crib, make sure the netting is less than ¼ inch in size, smaller than the buttons on baby clothes.

To sign up for recall alerts, go to


 Safe Crib large pic.png
Courtesy of the National Institute on Health

For more information on keeping your baby safe:

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