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Safe Infant Sleep

Any parent of a 0-12 month old infant may be concerned about SIDS, but what they should be worried about is suffocation. Suffocation is the leading cause of injury related death in infants, and it can be prevented.

Professionals discuss dangers of co-sleeping

Implementing the Safe Infant Sleep initiative

Tarrant County has one of the highest infant mortality rates among Texas counties–exceeding the national average. The Center for Prevention of Child Maltreatment is guiding a safe infant sleep awareness campaign in collaboration with Baylor All Saints, JPS and Texas Health Harris Methodist.

Below are some resources to help your organization adopt safe infant sleep practices.

Room to breathe!2011 bed-sharing precaution report from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Guidelines for safety

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a policy statement addressing just this issue. To keep your baby safe, follow these guidelines on safe infant sleep:

Safe Sleep campaign poster

Do this:

  • Babies age 0-12 months should sleep in a safety-approved crib, portable crib, play yards, or bassinet at night and during naps.
  • Babies should sleep on firm surfaces with tightly fitted sheets.
  • Babies should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.
  • After nursing, the mother should return the baby to their own bed before falling asleep.
  • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Usually, babies with reflux should sleep flat on their back.*
  • To keep your baby warm while sleeping, use a sleep sack or long-sleeved onesie.
  • If you are using an infant carrier, make sure the infant's head is up and above the fabric, the face is visible, and that the nose and mouth are clear of obstructions.
  • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).

Not this:

  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, stuffed toys, and bumper pads.
  • Car seats, infant swings, and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • Avoid overheating the baby with blankets or swaddling,
  • Side and stomach sleeping are not safe for infants who can’t roll over.
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Don’t use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Questions or concerns?

If you are concerned about maltreatment and would like to follow up on a patient seen at Cook Children's, contact the CARE Team at (682) 885-3953.

If you need to report a suspicion of maltreatment, call 1-800-252-5400 or go to www.txabusehotline.org.

We're here to help – If you have any questions or would like more information, please email Breanna Anderson or call 682-885-2506.

Please do not email reports of child maltreatment.