Safe sleep environments for babies

Congratulations to those expecting, delivering, adopting, or taking care of a new baby. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Keeping Babies Safe, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, would like to ensure that you are bringing your baby home to a safe sleep environment. Please remember these safe sleep tips:

  • The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib, bassinet, or play yard that meets current safety standards.
  • Your baby should have his or her own crib, with a firm mattress that fits the crib tightly and a fitted sheet. A tight fit means no gaps or spaces. You should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib side.
  • When selecting a crib, make sure it has not been recalled. Visit CPSC.gov or keepingbabiessafe.org to check if the crib model has been recalled.
  • When using a crib, regularly check to be sure all parts are secure. Make sure the crib has no loose or missing parts or slats. Broken hardware, or even a missing screw, can result in a detached side rail allowing your baby to get caught between the crib mattress and side rail.
  • Only repair a crib with parts provided by the manufacturer. Makeshift repairs can create new, deadly hazards.
  • Never place a crib, bassinet, or play yard near a window as that creates a serious fall hazard and a risk of strangulation on window blind cords.
  • Always place your baby on her back to sleep for both naptime and nighttime. When babies sleep on their backs, their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, drops by more than 50 percent.
  • Never use a sleep positioner. They are unnecessary and can be deadly. Babies have suffocated in sleep positioners.
  • Never place your baby to sleep on top of pillows or comforters. Remove these items from the crib. Just place your baby on her back, with no extra bedding. A better solution for keeping baby warm is an infant sleeper or wearable blanket that zips around your baby and can’t ride up over her face.
  • The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed.
  • Some studies have shown that giving your baby a clean, dry pacifier reduces SIDS rates.
  • Keep monitor and other cords out of your child’s reach, as these can pose a strangulation hazard.
  • Never smoke around your baby.
  • Talk to your pediatrician about any other sleep issues your baby may have. Advice may be different today from when your relatives or friends had babies.
  • When buying a new crib, bassinet, or play yard, always fill out and return the Product Registration Card so you can be notified directly if there is a recall or safety alert.
  • Beginning June 28, 2011, all cribs manufactured and sold (including resale) must comply with new and improved federal safety standards.

To stay informed on the latest safety information visit:

  • www.cpsc.gov/cribs
  • www.keepingbabiessafe.org
  • www.aap.org
  • www.healthychildren.org

We hope, you and your baby can have both a good night’s sleep and a safe sleep. Sweet dreams.