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HCA Midwest Health

Guidelines for Infant Sleep Safety

HCA Midwest Health labor and delivery hospitals are recognized as a Cribs for Kids National Certified Safe Sleep Hospital. The Cribs for Kids National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program awards recognition to hospitals demonstrating a commitment to reducing infant and sleep-related deaths by promoting and educating on best safe sleep practices.

Why safe sleep matters

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), there are around 3,500 sleep-related deaths among babies in the U.S. each year. Safe sleep practices are designed to reduce the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation and other deaths related to unsafe sleep practices. Thanks to safe sleep practices, sleep-related deaths like SIDS are on the decline, however, it is important all health providers and parents know how to create a safe sleep environment:

  • Always place a baby on their back to sleep, for naps and at night, to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Use a firm sleep surface covered by a fitted sheet; a crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard conforming to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended.
  • Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or on a chair alone, with you or with anyone else.
  • Keep your baby's sleep area in the same room where you sleep (for the infant's first year). Room sharing, not bed sharing. Always place the baby in a safety-approved crib, bassinet or portable crib for sleep.
  • Sitting devices like bouncy seats, swings, infant carriers or strollers should not be used for routine sleep.
  • Keep soft objects such as pillows and blankets, toys and bumpers out of your baby's sleep area.
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Do not smoke during pregnancy or allow smoking around your baby.
  • Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Give your baby a dry pacifier not attached to a string for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS after breastfeeding is established.
  • Supervised skin-to-skin is recommended to all mothers and infants immediately following birth regardless of feeding or delivery (as soon as the mother is medically stable, awake and able to respond to her newborn) and to continue for at least an hour. Once the mother starts to get sleepy, return the baby to the bassinet.
  • Follow healthcare provider guidance on your baby's vaccines and regular health checkups.