Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Brenner Children’s pediatric emergency department has moved back to its original location. Learn more

In order to help protect patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19, no visitors are allowed at any of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s outpatient or inpatient facilities, except in certain situations.
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More COVID-19 Updates

Safe Sleep for Babies and Infant

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is currently the leading cause of death for babies 1 month through 12 months. Infants are at greatest risk from 1-4 months of age.

How to Prevent SIDS?

Parents can reduce the risk of SIDS and sleep-related suffocation by following these recommendations:

  • Always place your baby to sleep on his back for naps and at night. This does not increase his risk of choking/aspiration, even if he spits up frequently, because he has inborn protective airway mechanisms to prevent this. Once your baby can roll both ways (front to back and back to front), you may allow him to sleep in the position of his choosing.
  • Always place baby on a firm surface to sleep.
  • Keep soft objects and loose bedding articles out of her crib. This includes pillows, quilts, blankets, stuffed animals and bumper pads. You may use sleep sacks or other clothing designed to keep her warm without being "loose" if you desire.
  • Avoid co-sleeping with your baby.
  • Breastfeed until at least 6 months if possible.
  • Immunize your baby as recommended by your physician and the CDC.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Avoid overheating him. Most infants need one more layer than what parents are comfortable in. If you are hot/cold, your baby probably is too.
  • Allow her to have a pacifier at nap/bedtime.
  • Do not use apnea or breathing/heart rate monitors unless otherwise recommended by your doctor.
  • Remember "Tummy Time" while your baby is awake. While we recommend that you always put her to sleep on her back, your baby needs play time on her tummy while she is awake to help her develop and avoid excessive flattening of the back of her head, also known as positional plagiocephaly.

For more in-depth information, you may reference the AAP's most recent article regarding SIDS prevention via the Journal of Pediatrics, October 2011.