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Maternity Services

Safe Sleep for Your Infant

Deciding where your baby will sleep is an important decision. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death in infants between one month and one year of age. The following information will help reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS, suffocation, and accidents during sleep.

Breastfeeding and bonding are very important to your baby’s health. You can nurse your baby in bed, but adult beds are not safe for sleeping babies.

  • Pillows, blankets, and other soft bedding increase your baby’s risk for SIDS and suffocation.
  • Babies can get trapped between the mattress and the headboard, footboard or wall.
  • Adults or siblings in the bed can accidentally roll too close to or onto your baby.
  • Your baby could fall from the bed and get hurt or fall onto a soft item on the floor and suffocate.

When it’s time to sleep, place your baby in a separate safe sleeping area. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib that meets current safety standards with nothing but the baby in the crib.

Create a Safe Sleep Zone:

(Information obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • Infants should always be placed on their backs (face up) when they are resting, sleeping, or left alone.
  • When infants are napping or sleeping they should only be placed in cribs approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
  • If you do not have a crib, your infant can be placed to sleep on another safe, firm sleep surface such as a bassinet or cradle that does not have any soft or fluffy items on its sleep surface.
  • Infants should always be placed on a firm surface or mattress.
  • Dress your infant in a sleeper or warm pajamas instead of covering your infant with a blanket.
  • If you choose to cover your infant, always make sure the blanket stays at or lower than the infant’s waist.
  • Always dress your infant the way that you would want to be dressed for the temperature around you.
  • Never place your infant on a sofa, couch, pillow, or waterbed.
  • Never place your infant to sleep or to nap with any pillows, stuffed toys, bumper pads, comforters, or quilts.
  • Never smoke or let anyone else smoke in the same room as an infant or child.
  • Make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep when visiting or traveling.

Spread the Word

Make sure everyone who cares for your baby knows how to help reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS. Tell grandparents, babysitters, childcare providers, and other caregivers how they can create a safe sleep zone, because every sleep time counts!

11116 Medical Campus Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
301-790-8000
TDD: 1-800-735-2258
meritus Health
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