Baby's Safe Sleep


Always put babies on their backs to sleep

Take these steps to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Infant Sleep Related Deaths.


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Tips to lower your baby's risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and infant sleep related death.

Preparing for Baby

Have a crib or bassinet with a firm mattress and fitted sheet.

Keep pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, bumper pads and stuffed toys out of the crib.

Make sure the baby's room does not get too hot.

Do not buy or use products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Keep your car and home smoke-free at all times.

When Baby Comes Home

Your baby should sleep on her back until she is one year old.

Your baby should sleep alone in a crib, portable crib or bassinet.

Your baby should never sleep on a bed, couch or other sleeping area with anyone, including parents.

Dress your baby in no more than one layer more than you would wear.

Breastfeed your baby for as long as you are able to.

Frequently Asked Questions

Must I have a brand new crib for my baby?

You don not need a new crib for each baby. You should have a crib that does not have a drop-side, is put together correctly, has not been recalled and is not broken. Check this site for current safety standards and more information:

Will my baby get a flat head sleeping on his back?

If your baby spends a lot of time lying on his back, he may develop a small flat spot on the back of his head. A flat spot is common and will likely disappear soon after he starts to sit up.

To avoid flat spots:

Won't my baby choke if she spits up when lying on her back?

Your baby is not more likely to choke when on her back compared to being on her stomach. When a baby spits up she will swallow the spit-up or it will dribble out of her mouth. When a baby is lying on her back, the "food pipe: is below the "air pipe" so gravity helps keep the spit-up out of the air pipe and lungs.

What are the rules for infants sleeping in child care?

North Carolina law states that anyone who cares for children under age one must be trained in infant safe sleep and must put babies to sleep on their backs. Licensed childcare homes and providers must have a written safe sleep policy signed by the parents.