More than 3500 infants die each year in the United States from sleep-related deaths. These deaths include sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUIDS), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), ill-defined deaths as well as accidental suffocation and strangulation in sleeping areas. While this number has decreased since the 1990s, it is still a prevalent problem for families with newborns.
To help combat sleep-related deaths in infants, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides Safe Sleep Guidelines for parents to help keep newborns safe and healthy. The guidelines are based on research evidence and reflect standards to keep infants safe and healthy.
Follow These 8 Steps to keep your baby safe and healthy*
1. Put your baby on their back to sleep until their first birthday.
2. A baby should sleep in the same room as an adult but in their own crib. Never put your baby to sleep on a couch, chair, water bed or other soft space.
3. Don't put crib bumpers, blankets, pillows or toys in your baby's crib.
4. The only thing in baby's crib should be a firm mattress & fitted sheet.
5. Never put your baby to sleep in a crib made more than 10 years ago or that has missing or broken parts.
6. Don't make the room your baby sleeps in too hot. Dress your baby in no more than one more layer then you are wearing.
7. Always put your baby back in their crib after feeding.**
8. Keep your baby away from smoke, alcohol, marijuana, opioids and illicit drug use.
*Recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
**Human milk feeding has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.