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Safe Sleeping Tips for Your Baby

Learn what is SIDS and how to protect your child from it.


Proper baby care means you need to know how to keep your baby safe while sleeping. Learn what is SIDS and what you can do to help protect your child from it.

What Is SIDS?

SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and it's an unexplained death that occurs while the baby is sleeping in his crib. No one knows why SIDS happens, but there are a few baby care procedures that you can take to help protect your baby.

Babies should always sleep on their backs, rather than their tummies. This is the best thing parents can do to reduce the chance of a baby dying from SIDS. As more parents started to put their babies to sleep on their backs, the instances of babies dying from SIDS has reduced dramatically.

Other Things You Can Do to Reduce SIDS

  • Never use loose blankets, especially the quilts that come with many baby bedding sets. These are better used as a wall decoration instead.
  • Don't smoke during pregnancy or let anyone smoke in your home.
  • Make sure your baby's room is a comfortable temperature and that she doesn't get too hot.
  • Avoid using a crib bumper.
  • Make sure ribbons or strings from mobiles are short enough that your baby can't get tangled in them.
  • Avoid using pillows and make sure your baby's bed is free of stuffed animals.
  • Never put a baby to sleep on a waterbed.
  • Visit your doctor if your baby is sick.

Why Her Mattress Matters

Your baby's mattress matters quite a bit. Most are standard-sized, but check carefully to make sure that your baby can't slip between the mattress and the sides of the crib. It's a good idea to replace the mattress with each baby, rather than reusing it, but if you do need to reuse it, make sure to inspect it thoroughly.

Make sure it doesn't sag and that it's firm. It should also have a waterproof cover without any cracks, holes or tears. Avoid mattresses with ventilation since you can't keep them clean and make sure the mattress is clean and dry before you put bedding on it.

The Perfect Sleeping Temperature

Getting too hot is thought to be a cause of SIDS so make sure your baby's room is the perfect temperature for sleeping. It's thought that the ideal temperature is between 61 and 68 degrees. Your baby's hands and feet might feel slightly chilly and this is normal. Make sure your baby's crib isn't near an electric heater, in direct sunlight or by a radiator and never use a hot water bottle or heating pad in your baby's crib.

Other Baby Care Tips For Helping Your Baby Sleep

  • Never put a baby to sleep wearing a hat.
  • Don't use comforters, quilts or pillows for your baby until she's at least a year old. Instead, use a swaddling blanket or sleep sacks to keep her warm.
  • Take care that the room isn't too hot.
  • Keep the room at a steady temperature.
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