Safe Sleep Practices

Alone. Apart. Always.
Safe Sleep 365

Room sharing, not bed sharing

A child under one year of age should never sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with parent, or any other person. The safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own safe space, in a room with the parent or caregiver.

Lay baby on a firm surface and on back

Never place a baby to sleep on any soft surface such as a bed, sofa, chairs, pillow cushions or waterbed. Infants should be placed to sleep on the back for every sleep by every caregiver until he/she reaches one year of age.

Substance-free and smoke-free

Keep baby in a smoke/substance-free environment before birth and after, as there is an increased risk of SIDS with prenatal and postnatal exposure to second-hand smoke, alcohol or illicit drug use. The risk of SIDS is particularly high when the infant shares a bed with an adult smoker, even when the adult does not smoke in bed. To ensure a safe sleep environment, parents should never allow anyone to smoke around their baby or have their baby in an environment where someone has recently been smoking.


Breastfeeding is recommended as adding protection against SIDS. After feeding, the AAP encourages parents to move the baby to his or her separate sleeping space, preferably a crib or bassinet in the parents' bedroom.

Environment-appropriate clothing

Avoid overheating by dressing your baby too warmly for sleep. Infants should be placed to sleep with his/her head and face uncovered, with no greater than one layer more than an adult would wear to be comfortable in that environment.

Object-free sleep space

Bare is best when placing a baby to sleep in a crib. An object-free sleep space helps an infant avoid dangerous situations such as:

  • suffocation from loose bedding
  • choking on toys or other objects
  • entrapment between sleep space gaps and mattress
  • strangulation from cords, bumper ties or other items

For a complete list of all American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, click here.