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Preventing SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Since 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that infants be placed to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby under 1 year of age.  Even though there is no way to know why some babies die of SIDS, there are some things you can do to make your baby safer:

  • Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, even for naps. This is the safest sleep position for a healthy baby.
  • Place your baby on a firm mattress, such as in a safety-approved crib. For more information on crib safety, contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-638-2772 or at
  • Remove soft, fluffy, and loose bedding and stuffed toys from your baby’s sleep area, along with pillows, quilts, and other soft items.
  • Do not use infant sleep positioners. Using a positioner to hold an infant or his or her back or side to sleep is dangerous and not needed.
  • Make sure baby’s face and head stay uncovered during sleep. Keep blankets and other coverings away from baby’s mouth and nose. Dress your baby in sleep clothing so you will not have to use any other covering over the baby. If you do use a blanket or other covering, make sure that baby’s feet are at the bottom of the crib, the blanket is no higher than the baby’s chest, and the blanket is tucked in around the bottom of the crib mattress.
  • Do not allow smoking around your baby. Don’t smoke before or after the birth of your baby.
  • Don’t let your baby get too warm during sleep. Your baby should sleep in a room that is a comfortable temperature for an adult. Too many layers of clothing or blankets can overheat your baby, so keep baby warm during sleep, but not too warm.
  • Make sure everyone who cares for your baby know to place your baby on his or her back to sleep and about the dangers of soft bedding. Talk to child care providers, grandparents, babysitters, and all caregivers about the risk of SIDS.