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Infant Safe Sleep
The American Academy of Pediatrics 2011 Policy

Policy Statement - SIDS and other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment.

In October 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released an updated policy statement on infant safe sleep environments. New recommendations state that breastfeeding and immunization protect babies against SIDS and that bumper pads should not be used. The back sleeping position on a firm sleeping surface and no bed-sharing are also a few of the key messages included. Other recommendations include:

  • Breastfeeding is recommended and is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should be immunized. Evidence suggests that immunization reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.
  • Bumper pads should not be used in cribs. There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.
  • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.
  • Don't smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Avoid covering the infant's head or overheating.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).

For more information, view the Opens in new window policy statement and
Opens in new window technical report. AAP has also developed parent information for their website:
Opens in new window

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Last updated: May 2014



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