Safe Sleep

Safe Sleep For Your Baby…Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the term used to describe the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than 1 year of age.

Since the national Back to Sleep Campaign was launched in 1994, the nation’s SIDS rate has declined by more than 50%. Despite this success, SIDS remains the leading cause of death for infants one month to one year of age, and claims the lives of more than 2000 U.S. babies each year. Brevard County has made great strides in reducing SIDS, as SIDS rates in Brevard have been declining since 2004.

Ten Things You Can Do to Lower Your Baby’s Risk of SIDS

  1. Always place your baby on his back to sleep, for naps and at night. The back position is safest and every sleep counts.
  2. Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved crib mattress, covered by a snug fitting sheet. Never place your baby to sleep on pillows, quilts, sheepskins, or other soft surfaces.
  3. Keep soft objects, toys and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area. Don’t use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, or pillow-like bumpers in your baby’s sleep area, and keep all items away from your baby’s face.
  4. Do not allow smoking around your baby. Don’t smoke before or after the birth of your baby, and don’t let others smoke around your baby.
  5. Keep your baby’s sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and others sleep.
    Your baby should not sleep in a bed or on a couch or armchair with adults or other children, but can sleep in the same room with you. If you bring your baby into bed with you to breastfeed, put him back in a separate sleep area, such as a bassinet, crib, cradle or a bedside co-sleeper (infant bed that attaches to an adult bed) when finished.
  6. Consider using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your baby down to sleep but don’t force your baby to take one. (If you are breastfeeding, wait until your baby is 1 month old or is used to breastfeeding before introducing a pacifier).
  7. Do not let your baby overheat during sleep. Dress your baby in light sleep clothing and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.
  8. Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS because most have not been tested for effectiveness or safety.
  9. Do not use home monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you have questions about using monitors for other conditions talk to your health care provider.
  10. Reduce the chance that flat spots will develop on your baby’s head. Provide “tummy time” when your baby is awake and someone is watching; change the direction that your baby lies in the crib from one week to the next; and avoid too much time in car seats, carriers, and bouncers.

Babies Need Tummy Time! Place your baby on her stomach when she is awake and someone is watching. Tummy Time helps your baby’s head, neck and shoulder muscles get stronger and helps to prevent flat spots on the head.

Spread the Word!

Make sure that everyone who cares for your baby knows the Safe Sleep Top 10!

For information on crib safety guidelines, contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-638-2772 or

For more information on sleep position for babies and reducing the risk of SIDS, visit the Back to Sleep campaign at

This information is provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

We’ve gathered resources and general information designed to help you understand aspects of health related to you before, during, and after pregnancy and general information all about baby care.

Pregnancy & Mother Care

Because every pregnancy is different, always talk to your health care provider about what is right for you before, during, and after your pregnancy.

Baby Care

Always talk to your doctors and health care professionals in any emergency situation. When in doubt, call your health care provider.

Healthy Babies Start With Healthy Moms