What is Safe Sleep?

If you're a new parent, you may have heard the term Safe Sleep or Safe to Sleep? 

Safe to sleep is a campaign by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Safe to sleep replaces the former back to sleep campaign. 

Safe to sleep incorporates more than placing the baby on his or her back. Safe to sleep exists to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

A Firm, Flat Surface

Soft mattresses, including those made from memory foam, could create a pocket (or indentation), increasing the chance of suffocation if the infant is placed in a side or tummy position, or rolls over to the prone position.

Double check to make sure your crib, bassinet, or play yard conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Sleeping Separate from Baby

Your newborn is recommended to be in your room, but on a separate surface. By having your baby sleep on a separate surface decreases the risk of SIDS by up to 50%. Your bed is a potential danger for entrapment and suffocation risks. Sleeping on couches and armchairs places infants at extraordinarily high risk of suffocation or falls. 

Object Free Sleep Area

Soft objects and loose bedding should be placed away from your newborn’s sleep area. Infant sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket, is preferable to blankets and other coverings to keep the infant warm while reducing the chance of head covering or entrapment that could result from blanket use.

Do Not Swaddle

If swaddling comes loose or baby attempts to roll, the swaddling could pose a threat the same as other coverings. 

Pacifiers are Okay

Pacifiers, after breastfeeding is established around 3 to 4 weeks, actually reduce the risk of SIDS for all babies. However, do not attach the pacifier to anything that can cause a risk of strangulation. Also, do not feel the need to put the pacifier back in if it falls out while the baby is sleeping. 

Airflow and Temperature Control

Newborns should be dressed appropriately for the environment, with no greater than one layer more than an adult would wear to be comfortable in that environment. Over bundling and covering of the face and head should be avoided, including swaddling at night when your baby has shown attempts to roll.