Safe Infant Sleep Social Media Live Event
In 2019, CDC hosted a Facebook live event to communicate information about safe sleep for babies during SIDS Awareness Month. To support organizations in developing their own remote, live social media events to promote safe sleep, CDC developed a toolkit that includes the resources below.
Q&A for Safe Infant Sleep Social Media Live Events
SIDS is one type of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID). SUID also includes accidental suffocation in a sleeping environment, and other deaths from unknown causes. The public health and medical communities recognize limitations of the term SIDS and its use to classify infant deaths. However, because many parents and caregivers are familiar with the term SIDS, it is important to continue educating families on the risk and protective factors that are common between SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths.
Babies receive multiple vaccines when they are between 2 to 4 months old. This age range is also the peak age for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The timing of the 2-month and 4-month shots and SIDS has led some people to question whether they might be related. Multiple research studies and safety reviews have looked at possible links between vaccines and SIDS. The evidence accumulated over many years do not show any links between childhood immunization and SIDS. See Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Vaccines.
There is no evidence that there is a causal relationship between immunizations and SIDS. Though not well understood, evidence suggests that vaccination may even have a protective effect against SIDS. As such, a Task Force on SIDS by the American Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP, recommends that infants be immunized in accordance with recommendations of the AAP and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. See SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environmentexternal icon.
Per the American Academy of Pediatrics Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environmentexternal icon, soft objects like pillows, pillow-like toys, quilts, comforters, sheepskins and loose bedding, including non-fitted sheets, blankets and should be kept away from the infant’s sleep area to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation. Infant sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket, is preferable to blankets and other coverings to keep the infant warm while reducing the chance of head covering or entrapment that could result from blanket use.
The AAP has no evidence to recommend swaddling as a strategy to reduce SIDS. We do know the baby is at risk if the baby is swaddled and then placed on their stomach or rolls onto their stomach. The swaddle restricts their movement, and it is difficult for them to get out of the stomach position when they are swaddled. If caregivers swaddle their baby, they should make sure that the baby is always on his or her back when swaddled. The swaddle should not be too tight or make it hard for the baby to breathe or move his or her hips. When the baby looks like he or she is trying to roll over, caregivers should stop swaddling. Caregivers should also be careful to avoid baby becoming overheated. When swaddling, caregivers should watch for signs of overheating, such as baby sweating or the baby’s chest feeling hot to the touch.
Sitting devices, such as car seats, strollers, swings, infant carriers, and infant slings, are not recommended for routine sleep in the hospital or at home, particularly for young babies. Babies who are younger than 4 months are particularly at risk, because they may get into a position that can create a risk of suffocation or airway obstruction or may not be able to move out of a potentially dangerous situation. If a baby falls asleep in one of these locations, as soon as possible, he or she should be moved to a safe sleep surface such as a crib or bassinette.
Your baby’s safety is most important. Babies who are put to sleep on their tummies are twice as likely to die of SIDS. Parents and caregivers should place babies on their backs to sleep even if they seem less comfortable or sleep more lightly than when on their stomachs. There are other tools, such as swaddling or white noise that we can use to calm a fussy baby. Although swaddling is not a SIDS risk-reduction strategy, it is known to help calm fussy babies and promote back sleeping. Just a reminder, swaddling should be discontinued at the first sign of the baby trying to roll over. White noise, such as radio/tv static, rain, or small motors like a fan, can also help babies sleep better. You can discuss your questions or concerns about how your baby sleeps with your pediatrician and visit online resources such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About SIDS and Safe Infant Sleepexternal icon .
Supervised ‘tummy time’ during baby’s waking hours is an important way to prevent flat spots on baby’s head. This practice promotes normal growth, such as making baby’s muscles stronger and improving motor skills. This is also a great way to use those baby blankets and comforters as a surface for baby to lie on for tummy time! Learn more at Baby’s Need Tummy Time!external icon from NICHD.
AAP recommendsexternal icon that “infants sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for the first year of life, but at least for the first 6 months. Placing the crib close to the parents’ bed so that the infant is within view and reach can facilitate feeding, comforting, and monitoring of the infant. Room-sharing reduces SIDS risk and removes the possibility of suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment that may occur when the infant is sleeping in the adult bed.”
According to AAP, pacifiers can reduce the risk of SIDS, which occurs most commonly between 2-4 months of age. It is not clear how pacifiers help reduce sleep related deaths, but increased wakefulness resulting from pacifier use may be one potential mechanism for the protective effect of pacifiers on SIDS. The protective effect is observed even if the pacifier falls out of the infant’s mouth.
The AAP’s policy statements (Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milkexternal icon and SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environmentexternal icon) recommend that introduction of pacifiers for breastfed infants be delayed until breastfeeding is firmly established, which is generally within the first few weeks.
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- Hi, and thanks for joining us! My name is Sharyn Parks Brown and I’m joined by my colleague Carri Cottengim. We are both scientists on CDC’s Maternal and Infant Health team works to better understand sudden death in infants and ways to protect babies through safe sleep environments
- Carri and I are also moms and we’re in a nursery today to talk about safe sleep for babies younger than 1 years old.
- Sleep is a common topic when talking about
- Many people don’t realize how important the sleep environment is to keeping their infants safe and healthy.
- And this is important not just for parents, but for grandparents, childcare workers, babysitters, or ANYONE who cares for an infant.
- Carri and I will demonstrate key features of a safe infant sleep …
- Carri, do you want to start by talking about what we see in this crib?
- This is a crib here has a cute comforter and bumpers, blankets, and some other items in
- While may look really cute, there are some things in it that can actually be dangerous for a baby and could put them at risk for sleep-related death, such as something called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS for
- But first, let’s start with what is The baby in the crib is on her back.
- That’s According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the safest way for infants to be placed for sleep is on their backs.
- Even once your baby is able to flip themselves over on their stomach when sleeping, it’s still best to place them on their back to But if they flip while sleeping, you can leave them in that position.
- What else is good about this environment?
- The crib itself is It’s very important that babies have their OWN crib or basinet to sleep in. Babies should NOT share a bed with an adult or another child. There is a risk of someone rolling over and suffocating the baby.
- The sleep surface should be firm, flat and level. This crib has a firm, tight fitting mattress with no gaps around the
Point to crib sheet
- It is also flat and level.
- If your baby falls asleep in a bouncy seat, car seat, stroller, swing, or anything that is angled, move them to a flat surface as soon as you can to finish
Hold up seat
- This is because it is easy for small or young babies to slump into a position where they can’t breathe easily.
- Now, let’s talk about how you can keep the baby on a separate surface when you’re breastfeeding?
- Breastfeeding is great for mom and babies, but it can also be easy for breastfeeding moms to get sleepy during and after feeding their babies- especially during those first few sleep-deprived weeks!
- If a baby is brought to an adult bed to breastfeed, he should be moved back to his own crib before mom falls back to sleep.
- A partner, friend or family member might be able to help with this by keeping an eye on mom during feeds and moving baby to its crib if she falls
- If you are alone and do fall asleep, just place the baby on his back in the crib as soon as you wake
- Another thing to mention related to breastfeeding but that applies to all babies, is that it’s actually ideal for the crib to be in the SAME room as the adult bed until they’re 6 months of So same room, different bed.
- So, Carri, let’s now talk about what is NOT good about this set-up.
- Cribs should ONLY have a tight fitted This means NO blankets, comforters, bumpers, or stuffed animals.
Remove items from bed and set them down
- This is because infants can get tangled in bedding and suffocate if objects cover their mouth and nose.
- Blankets can be hung on the wall or put on the floor for tummy time. Stuffed animals can also decorate the room or be used for play, but they should not be in the
- You might be wondering now that the blankets are out of the crib how to keep your baby
- Many of us worry about keeping our baby warm, but babies actually only need one more layer than what an adult would comfortably wear in the
- It can be dangerous if a baby gets overheated, so watch for signs if the baby is sweating or their chest feels hot to the
- If it’s chilly, you can dress the baby in a wearable blanket or sleep sack, such as this.
Pick up sleep sack
- So, one more time, what are our key takeaways?
- The main things to remember are to:
- Always place infants on their backs to sleep, on a firm, flat, and level surface (like their own crib or bassinet).
- Take out all soft or loose objects; you only need a fitted
- Ideally keep the crib in the same room as a caregiver for the first 6 months.
- Thank you for joining us today. Other members of our team from CDC have been working behind the scenes to answer your questions as they’ve been If we didn’t get to your question, we’ll respond online later this afternoon. For more information, visit CDC.GOV/SIDS. Thank you.