You can help lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other infant deaths that happen during sleep time. These five steps will help your baby sleep safely.
- Always place your baby on their back to sleep, for every sleep.
- Be smoke-free, before and after your baby is born.
- Breastfeed your baby.
- Give your baby a safe sleep space that has:
- a firm, flat surface with a tightly fitted sheet
- no gaps between the mattress and sides
- No loose, soft bedding, bumper pads, pillows, or toys.
- The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib, cradle, or bassinet.
- Room sharing – Place your baby to sleep in a crib, cradle, or bassinet in the same room as you sleep for the first 6 months.
To learn much more about safe sleep
for your baby, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.
Swaddling is sometimes used to calm babies but can also be a risk. Babies can get tangled or covered in the blanket if it comes loose or can roll onto their tummy while still swaddled. These are risks of suffocation. If you swaddle your baby, be sure to do it safely:
- Use a lightweight blanket. Make sure it stays away from the baby’s nose and mouth.
- Wrap your baby so they can still move their hips and legs.
- Leave your baby’s hands free so they can show you when they are hungry.
- It is important to stop swaddling before your baby can roll. Swaddling is not safe for babies when they are on their tummies.
Caution: Products not recommended for infants’ sleep:
• Bed-side sleepers (click to expand) »
Bed-side sleepers that attach to an adult bed are not recommended. Babies can get trapped in the space between the bed and the bedside sleeper.
• Baby nests or pods (click to expand) »
Baby nests or pods (small, portable pads with soft, padded sides) and other soft products like nursing pillows are not recommended for sleep. These products increase a baby’s risk of suffocation. They should never be used in a crib, cradle, or bassinet, or on an adult bed for a baby to sleep in.
• Inclined sleepers, baby hammocks and crib wedges (click to expand) »
Products with a sleep surface that is not flat, like inclined sleepers, baby hammocks and crib wedges, should not be used – even for babies who spit up a lot. These products can cause your baby to move into a position where they cannot breathe.
• Highchairs, baby swings, bouncers, strollers, and car seats (click to expand) »
Highchairs, baby swings, bouncers, strollers, and car seats are made for babies, but not for sleep. Babies have suffocated when sleeping in these products. Sleeping in a sitting position can cause your baby’s head to fall forward, which can make it hard to breathe. If your baby falls asleep in a highchair, bouncer, or swing, be sure to move them to a crib, cradle, or bassinet. If your baby falls asleep while travelling in a car seat or stroller, move your baby to a crib, cradle, or bassinet when you arrive at your destination. Take off your baby’s snowsuit, raincoat, jacket, and other outerwear once indoors to reduce the risk of suffocation or overheating.
• Sofas or armchairs, air mattresses and adult beds (click to expand) »
Sofas or armchairs, air mattresses and adult beds are not made for babies to sleep on. They increase a baby’s risk of falling or being trapped and suffocated. The risk is even higher if the baby shares the surface with an adult or other child.
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