Medical Professional Publications

Reference Tool: Preventing SIDS and Promoting Safe Sleeping Habits

SIDS continues to be the number one cause of death in infants from 1-month of age to 1- year of age in the United States.

The following is a brief listing of the AAP recommendations
for a sleep environment that should be followed for all healthy infants from birth
to 1 year of age.

  • Bedding recommendation is for the infants to be placed on a firm mattress fitted for the crib with a fitted sheet. Sleep clothing such as sleep sacks or buntings are a good option to use instead of sheets or blankets.
  • The AAP discourages bed sharing among infants and adults.
  • Sleeping in the same room as a parent or caregiver, but not the same bed has been shown to decreases the incidence of SIDS.
  • No Smoking. Smoking during pregnancy and once the baby is born increases the risk for SIDS.
  • Pacifier use is a new recommendation of the AAP.
  • Do not over bundle the infants.
  • Electronic home cardiac and respiratory monitors do not prevent SIDS.
  • Breastfeeding should be encouraged.
  • The use of car seats, infant seats and “bouncy” seats should be limited and upright cuddle time should be encouraged. Altering the head position when the child is sleeping is recommended. Change the direction the baby is lying in the crib so that the infant is not turning their head the same direction all the time.
  • Continue education of the “Back to Sleep” program. Health professionals need to model good behaviors. All hospitals should have policies that are consistent with the AAP Back to Sleep guidelines and follow those guidelines in the hospital.

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