Safety Tips for Sleeping Babies
Babies spend a lot of time sleeping, so it is important to provide a safe sleep environment for them. Any parent is anxious to make their baby as comfortable during sleep as possible. However, some common steps for a cozy bed may increase the chance of serious problems.
Certain items in and around the crib can be a suffocation hazard to infants. These items may be harmless to older children but infants have smaller airways and less head control. This means they may not be able to reposition themselves if their access to air is blocked, even by something as simple as a blanket. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps to make your baby's sleep environment much safer without disturbing your baby's sleep.
Infant Sleep Hazards
All parents and caregivers should be aware of the possible hazards associated with sleeping.
Dangers of Infants Sleeping in Adult Beds
Infants Less than One Year of Age:
Problems have been caused by all of the above as well as the following:
Making Your Baby’s Bed Safe
Here are some tips to making your baby's sleep safer from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Place Your Baby in a Safe Position on Safe Bedding
When putting a baby less than one year of age to sleep, make sure that you:
Note: When your child is awake, it is okay for your baby to have supervised play time on their belly. This will help your baby develop some posture muscles.
Steps for safe bedding include:
Avoid Sleep Surfaces That Are Too Soft
Do not place the baby to sleep on a soft surface such as:
Your baby can sleep in the same room as you, but do not share the bed.
Make Sure the Crib Is Safe
A safe crib will have:
Remove Soft Bedding
Remove soft products from the baby’s crib such as:
Make Sure the Mesh-Sided Crib or Play-Pen Is Safe
For mesh-sided cribs or playpens, look for:
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
US Consumer Product Safety Commission
Consumer Product Safety
Public Health Canada
A Parent's Guide to Safe Sleep from the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthy... Accessed November 7, 2012
Healthy Children from the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthy... Accessed November 6, 2012
Consumer Product Safety Commission. Crib safety tips. Consumer Product Safety Commission. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5030.html. Accessed November 6, 2012.
CPSC cautions caregivers about hidden hazards for babies on adult beds. Consumer Product Safety Commission. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5091.html. Accessed November 6, 2012.
Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. American Academy of Pediatrics Statement: The changing concept of sudden infant death syndrome: diagnostic coding shifts, controversies regarding the sleeping environment, and new variables to consider in reduction risk. Pediatrics. 2005;116:1245-1255. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/116/5/1245
10/5/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: US Food and Drug Administration. Infant sleep positioners: consumer warning—risk of suffocation. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov.... Updated 7/17/2012. Accessed November 6, 2012.
11/14/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/: Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: expansion of recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics. 2011;128(5):1030-1039.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Brian Randall, MD