Back to Sleep
You most likely already know this, but it's important to repeat that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends healthy infants be placed on their backs to sleep. Recent studies have shown that in the twenty years since back sleeping was first recommended, the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has been reduced by 50 percent. Without question you should put your baby down to sleep on her back as tummy and side sleeping positions are not as safe.
SIDS is responsible for more deaths than any other cause for babies one month to one year of age.
Here are the National Institute of Child Health and Development recommendations to keep your baby safe while she is sleeping and reduce the risk of SIDS:
The back sleep position is the safest, and every sleep time counts.
Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as on a safety-approved crib mattress covered by a fitted sheet. Never place your baby to sleep on pillows, quilts, sheepskins, or other soft surfaces.
Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area. Don't use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, and pillow-like crib bumpers in your baby's sleep area, and keep any other items away from your baby's face.
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.
Keep your young infant's sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and others sleep. Your baby should not sleep on a couch or armchair with adults or other children, but she can sleep in the same room as you. If you bring the baby into bed with you to breastfeed, put her back in a separate sleep area when finished.
Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing the infant down to sleep, but don't force the baby to take it. If you are breastfeeding, wait until your child is one month old or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.
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.