Heritage Valley Health System is dedicated to increasing awareness of infant safe sleep practices in our community. All caregivers – parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, babysitters, and childcare providers – should know how to help babies sleep safely.

Make sure to always follow the ABCDEs of Safe Sleep:

An infant should always sleep Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib that is free of any toys, blankets/pillows, or loose items. Additionally, Don’t smoke around the baby and ensure that everyone is Educated about safe sleep practices.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations include:

  • Place children under the age of one on a firm, flat surface that conforms to Consumer Product Safety Commission standards on their backs for all sleep.
  • Infants should never sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or recliner alone, or with anyone else. This poses a suffocation/entrapment risk.
  • Co-sleeping or bed sharing should be avoided.
  • The sleep space should have a fitted mattress only. It is unsafe to place loose objects such as blankets, toys, stuffed animals, pillows, bumper pads, or anything else in the crib with your baby.
  • Sitting devices like infant seats, swings, strollers, bouncers, Boppy pillows, or anything similar should never be used for routine sleep.
  • If you give your baby a pacifier at naptime and bedtime, do not attach it to a string or stuffed animal, as these items increase the risk of strangulation and suffocation. Studies have shown that pacifiers can help reduce a baby’s risk of SIDS.
  • Refrain from smoking during pregnancy and do not allow smoking around your infant.
  • Avoid alcohol, marijuana, opioids, and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth.
  • Do not allow your infant to become overheated during sleep. Do not add multiple layers of clothing to your infant or cover them with a loose blanket. Sleep sacks are a safe alternative to using loose blankets.
  • It is recommended that pregnant people obtain regular prenatal care.
  • It is recommended that infants be immunized in accordance with guidelines from the AAP and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Additional resources:

Maternity Care  |   Heritage Valley Pediatrics

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