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Parents and Caregivers

Image of a baby crib.

Infant Safe Sleep Recommendations

Health care providers and researchers don't know the exact causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but they do know certain things to help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related Sudden Unexpected Infant Death include the following:

  • Always place babies on their backs to sleep for every sleep.Baby placed to sleep on its back.
  • Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Have the baby share your room, not your bed. Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
  • Keep soft objects, such as pillows and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • Prevent exposure to smoking during pregnancy and after birth because these are important risk factors for SIDS.
    The risk of SIDS is even stronger when a baby shares a bed with a smoker. To reduce risk, do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby. For help in quitting, call the quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit


For more information on reducing the risk of SIDS, visit the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) website.

CDC is collaborating with the National Institutes of Health in its Safe to Sleep campaign, formerly known as the Back to Sleep Campaign. The Safe to Sleep Campaign has outreach and education activities aimed at reducing infant death from SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths.

What does a safe sleep environments look like?
To learn more about safe sleep environments and reducing the risk of SIDS, check out the National Institute of Child Health Development (NICHD) publication What does a safe sleep environment look like?

CDC supports 2011 recommendations issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). These recommendations aim to reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Learn more at the Healthy Children website sponsored by AAP.


If you or someone you know has experienced the loss of an infant, the following organizations may offer support: