Unsafe sleep practices are anything in the caretaker’s control that increase an infant’s risk of sleep-related death. The most common sleep-related risk factor is babies being placed on sleep surfaces that are not designed for infant sleep:
- adult beds
Putting a baby on their side or stomach for sleep puts them at a higher risk for SIDS. In fact, sleep-related deaths have declined nationwide as more parents have put their babies to sleep on their backs.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with some of these most common unsafe sleep practices and avoid them when taking care of an infant:
- Caring for an infant while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Putting an infant to sleep in any position other than on their back
- Allowing an infant to sleep with items in their crib such as blankets, bumper pads, pillows, etc.
- Leaving an infant in somebody else’s care without informing them of safe sleep practices
- Allowing an infant to sleep anywhere other than in a clean, clear crib
So, what is “Safe Sleep”? Find an explanation of the ABCs of Safe Sleep here.