Safe Sleep Tips for Babies

Baby Sleep Safety Image

Babies sleep an average of 12-16 hours per day. That’s a lot of time spent sleeping! During this time, it’s important to promote a healthy sleep environment for your baby. Safe sleep practices can lower your baby’s risk of SIDS, or “sudden infant death syndrome.” SIDS is an unexplained death of a baby under the age of one.

Scientists aren’t entirely sure what causes SIDS, but they do know that safe sleep practices can dramatically decrease your child’s risk. Some tips for safe sleeping are listed below:

Babies Should Be Placed in a Crib or Basinet

It’s probably tempting to sleep in the same bed as your baby; you love the touch, the smell, the cuddling with them. You may even like the convenience for breastfeeding. But research has shown that it is not safe to sleep with your baby. Suffocation is a huge risk, either from your body too close to theirs, or from the sheets and pillows of your bed.

Instead of sleeping in the same bed as your infant, consider putting the crib or basinet in the same room as you.

The Crib or Basinet Should Have a Firm Sleeping Surface

If you place your baby on a soft, squishier surface while they’re sleeping, your baby may sink into the mattress and experience difficulty breathing. Infants don’t have strong motor control yet and may suffocate from the mattress.

Mattresses should be firm to help alleviate this risk. They should also be large enough to fully fit the crib so that that baby is not able to get stuck between the mattress and crib.

Babies should be placed on their backs when they sleep

Research has shown that the safest position for infants to sleep is on their backs. Scientists have a couple of theories why, including that babies who sleep on their bellies and sides sleep more deeply and are less likely to wake up if they are not getting enough oxygen.

No Pillows, Blankets, or Toys in the Crib

If a baby is placed in a crib with a blanket there is a possibility the blanket could cover their mouth, and the baby could either suffocate or be strangled by the object. Infants are not strong enough to remove something if it’s covering their face or is choking them. Because of this, there should be nothing placed in the crib except for the baby and fitted sheet.

A lot of the scenarios listed are scary, but you can take precautionary steps to prevent them. If you have any questions regarding safe sleeping practices, please consult your child’s pediatrician for advice.


  1. “Safe Sleep”. AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics.
  2. “Ways to Reduce Baby’s Risk”. NIH, US Department of Health and Human Services.
  3. “Research on Back Sleep an SIDS.” NIH, US Department of Health and Human Services.

Posted in: Babies

Schedule an appointment
online or call us today!