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Infant Safe Sleep/SIDS
Before baby arrives

Think Safety!

SIDS risk reduction begins before your baby is born. SIDS is a concern to all parents, but it helps to know that there are some simple steps you can take to lower the chances of SIDS.

Pregnant mothers can take important steps to give their babies a healthy start and lower their chances of SIDS by:

  • Choosing not to smoke
  • Avoiding secondhand smoke
  • Choosing not to drink alcohol
  • Getting early prenatal care
  • Learning about the benefits of breastfeeding

Family members can help by learning all they can about ways to reduce SIDS and by not smoking around the pregnant mother. For more information about SIDS, visit the SIDS section of this Web site.

There is additional safe sleep information in the following video segments:

Create a Safe Sleep Place for Baby

As you prepare for your baby's arrival, create a safe sleeping place. Follow these baby sleep safety tips and share them with your family members before your baby arrives:

  • The crib, bassinet or playpen should be safety approved - check the label
  • Use a firm mattress or mattress pad that fits and has no gap between it and the frame of the crib
  • Use a fitted sheet that is the right size for the mattress or mattress pad
  • Do not use bumper pads, sleep position wedges and pillows in the crib
  • Position the crib away from the heat vent
  • Make sure baby's room has good air-flow
  • Use a thermometer in the baby's room. Keep the room temperature in the safe range of 68°F to 72°F, not more than 75°F
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke in your baby's room, in your house or car

A Note to Breastfeeding Moms

It's great that you've decided to breastfeed your baby! Breast milk provides the best food to grow on. Mother's milk helps your baby fight off infection and is easier to digest than formula. Breastfeeding fosters a special bond between you and your baby.

Take these steps to keep your baby safe:

  • Do not sleep with your baby
  • For your baby's safety, use a crib or bassinet
  • If you want to sleep near your baby, put a bassinet or crib in your room so it is easier for you to breastfeed during the night
  • After breastfeeding, burp your baby, attend to his needs, then return your baby to his own sleeping place

Other Links

North Carolina


HEALTHYCHILDREN.ORG a new parenting Web site from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  The site includes general information related to child health plus more specific guidance on parenting issues and is promoted as "the only parenting Web site backed by 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults." 

Opens in new windowConsumer Product Safety Commission - Information about safe bedding practices for infants

Opens in new windowDanny Foundation - For crib and child product safety information, visit this Web site or call toll-free 1-800-833-2669 (1-800-83DANNY)

Opens in new Department of Health and Human Services, National Women's Health Information Services for information on breast feeding

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Last updated: May 2014

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More Info

Infant Safe Sleep Webisodes
Each webisode is a short video with detailed information to educate parents, caregivers and professionals about infant safe sleep.

My Carolina Today - Infant Safe Sleep Segments
(NBC-17) Infant Safe Sleep Coordinator, Marta Pirzadeh explains exactly what SIDS is and how to reduce the risk for your baby.

Back to Sleep information sheet
How to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS
Opens in new window PDF version (344 KB)*
Opens in new window Plain text version

Baby's Safe Sleep flyer/fotonovela
Mom explains to grandma why babies should be on their backs when they sleep. Share with family members and caregivers.
Opens in new window PDF version (297 KB)*
Opens in new window Plain text version

Baby's Safe Sleep poster
Steps to follow to safely put a baby to bed
Opens in new window PDF version (72 KB)*
Opens in new window Plain text version

Keeping Baby Safe at Home
Safe sleep tips for babies from Neonatal Intensive Care Units
Opens in new window PDF version (161 KB)*
Opens in new window Plain text version

Oh Baby! We want to keep you safe from secondhand smoke
Tips for dealing with secondhand smoke
Opens in new window PDF version (247 KB)*
Opens in new window Plain text version

Taking Care of Me
This self-help guide gives postpartum women practical health tips on emotional health, stress, nutrition, exercise, family planning and reproductive health, and alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Opens in new window PDF version (488 KB)*
Opens in new window Plain text version

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*If the PDF download time is too slow, try the plain text version. If your computer can't open the PDF version, download Opens in new windowa FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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