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Safe Sleep Tips

A new baby is an exciting addition to your family; changing your life in ways both expected and unexpected. One of the most important things new parents can do for their babies in the first year of life is to keep them safe while they sleep. From the crib, to sleepwear, to the temperature of the room, all these things affect your baby's safety. The Home Safety Council wants to help you prevent the potential hazards while your baby sleeps.

To help ensure the safety of your youngest children, follow Home Safety Council's guidelines to select and maintain a crib for your baby:

Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Make sure your baby's crib is safe. Go to www.recalls.gov to find out if your crib model was recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • For safe sleep, your child's crib should be empty. Take away all soft bedding, pillows, toys and stuffed animals from the crib.
Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Place infants on their backs in cribs and make sure the sheet and mattress fit tightly to avoid entrapment and suffocation.
Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Never hang pictures, quilts or decorations containing ribbon or string on or over a crib.
Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Window blind cords can be dangerous. Move cribs and playpens away from windows. Tie up window cords out of a child's reach. If your blind cords have continuous loops, cut them in two.
Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Make sure that children under 6 do not sleep on the top bunk of raised beds. Use a ruler to make sure that spaces between the guardrail and bed frame are less than 3.5 inches. Measure the spaces between the headboard and the bed frame and the footboard and the bed frame too. Make sure these areas are less than 3.5 inches.

Additional safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Giving your baby a pacifier while they sleep may help reduce the risk of SIDS. However, if the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth while they are sleeping, do not put it back in.
  • Never use a pacifier clip with string or a strap long enough to get caught around a baby's neck.
Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Do not cover the baby's head with a blanket or over bundle them with clothing and blankets.
Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Dress the baby lightly for sleep to avoid letting them get too hot. Set the room temperature in a range that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Place the crib in an area that is always smoke free.
  • Do not place babies to sleep on adult beds, chairs, sofas or cushions.
Home Safety - Safe Sleep Tips
  • Place babies in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and a well-fitting sheet. If you choose to use a cradle or bassinet, be sure they are approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA).
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