- Health Topics
- Babies/Toddlers 0-3
- Safe Sleep Environment for your Baby
Safe Sleep Environment for your Baby
Lay Baby on their Back to Sleep
The safest way to lay your baby down to sleep or for a nap is on their back. Babies that sleep on their tummies have 5 times the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Mothers should share this information with everyone who cares for her baby.
Own Sleeping Area / Firm Sleep Surface / Safety Approved Crib
During the first few months, it is easier to have your baby in the same room as you. Sharing the same sleep surface with your baby is not safe. Make sure the crib mattress is firm and that fits snugly in the crib frame. Use a tight-fitting bottom sheet that is made just for a crib mattress. Use a crib and crib sheets that it meets minimum safety standards. NEVER put a baby on an adult bed, couch, sofa, chair or other soft surface.
Nothing but baby in the Crib / Keep the infant sleep area safe
A firm mattress and fitted sheet are all your baby needs in their crib, cradle or bassinet. There is no need for any extra items. Toys, stuffed animals, bumper pads, loose blankets or bedding, comforters, pillows or wedges are all safety hazards that could stop baby from breathing. Your baby is safest when he or she sleeps in fitted one-piece sleepwear that is comfortable at room temperature and does not cause your baby to overheat. Remember to have only one baby in a crib at a time.
No Smoking around baby / No smoking while pregnant
Babies that breathe second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer from SIDS. Smoking while pregnant increases a baby’s risk of SIDS by more than 3 times. Second-hand smoke comes from tobacco and marijuana smoke. It is important to keep your baby out of smoke-filled environments.
Breastfeeding and Smoking
Breastfeeding can protect your baby from SIDS. Breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for your baby even if you smoke. If you do smoke, it is best for your health and your baby’s health if you quit. Nicotine from cigarettes passes from a mom to her baby through her breastmilk. Nicotine levels are highest right after smoking. To decrease the effects of smoking on your baby:
- Breastfeed before you smoke or use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
- Remove the clothing you wore when smoking and wash your hands before holding your baby.
If you need help quitting smoking call your family doctor or the Health Unit for information about nicotine replacement therapy.