October is Safe Sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month, a time to promote healthy sleeping habits for newborns and raise awareness about sleep-related risks for infants. The resources below can help you make informed decisions about your infant or child’s sleeping environment and routine at home or in care.
Safe Sleep Recommendations for Infants Updated this Year
On June 21, 2022, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated sleep recommendations for infants. Here’s what you need to know:
- Room Sharing: Infants should room share with parents/guardians through at least 6 months of age. It’s recommended that for safest sleep, babies sleep in a crib, bassinet, or bedside sleeper.
- Empty Cribs: Infants should sleep alone in an empty crib with no blankets, stuffed animals, loveys, pillows or crib bumpers.
- Back is Best: Infants should sleep on their backs. Research shows that this is the safest position for infant sleep.
- Try a Pacifier: Pacifiers have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Smoke-free Environments. Smoke in the house, on clothing, bedsheets, etc. can cause irritation and breathing problems for infants and young children.
- Breastfeeding Recommended When Possible: Some evidence shows that human milk reduces the risk of SIDS. The longer you give your baby breast milk, the more protection it gives.
Read AAP’s news release for the full safe sleep update here.
- AAP’s Safe Sleep Campaign Toolkit here.
- Resources, Tools & Materials for Safe Sleep (U.S. Breastfeeding Committee)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About SIDS and Safe Infant Sleep (NIH)
- How to Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe (AAP)
- New Family Material for Safe Sleep Partners & Pediatricians (AAP)
- Check out this safe sleep video (AAP)