700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Baby Registry Series: Safe Sleep

May 25, 2023
safe sleep baby

Babies spend a lot of their time sleeping so make sure their sleep space is a safe place by following the ABCs of safe sleep. Babies should sleep Alone, on their Back, in a Crib. More on the ABCs of Safe Sleep and what you may want to add to a registry before baby arrives:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room sharing - not bed sharing - for at least the first six months of baby’s life. Room sharing can decrease the risk of SIDS by as much as 50% and it's much safer than bed sharing. Place your baby's crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard in your bedroom. Room sharing can make it easier for you to feed, comfort, and watch your baby. While you might be tired and tempted to let baby sleep on or near you during nighttime feedings, make sure to return baby to their own sleep space after feeding.
  • If baby’s crib fits in your bedroom (or you want to camp out in baby’s room), great! Most families choose a freestanding bassinet, portable crib, or play yard with a bassinet insert. These tend to fit into a small amount of space and they’ll have baby higher up from the ground, making them easier for you to lift out/put back (which you’ll be doing frequently those first few months!). Most bassinets fit babies up to 15 pounds, so baby may only use it for a couple months. Many play yards are more adaptable as you can remove the bassinet insert and use it as a portable crib or play area into the toddler years. Always follow manufacturer’s guidelines for age, size, and weight in whatever your child sleeps in.
  • Keep soft objects & loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area. These objects can increase your baby's risk of serious injury or death. Keep soft objects like pillows, toys, quilts, comforters, mattress toppers, fur-like materials, mobiles, bumper pads or related products that attach to crib slats or sides out of the crib, and loose bedding like blankets and non-fitted sheets out of baby’s sleep area to reduce the risk of SIDS, serious injury, and death. The crib, bassinet, or play yard mattress should be firm and covered in a tightly fitted sheet.
  • A swaddle or sleep sack is a great way to layer without adding unsafe items to the crib. Stop swaddling as soon as baby starts to roll or at eight weeks old - whichever comes first. A simple wearable blanket or sleep sack (where baby’s arms stick out) can be used as long as desired.
  • Use a crib manufactured after 2011, which is when safety standards were changed, to make sure you are using the safest model. If you’re using a secondhand crib, go to recalls.gov to make sure it hasn’t been recalled.
Setting Up a Safe Nursery
Read more tips

Featured Expert

Laura Dattner
Laura Dattner, MA
Center for Injury Research and Policy

Laura Dattner is a research writer in the Center for Injury Research and Policy. With both a health communications and public health background, she works to translate pediatric injury research into meaningful, accurate messages which motivate the public to make positive behavior changes.

All Topics

Browse by Author

About this Blog

Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.