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CDC Vital Signs

Safe Sleep for Babies

There have been dramatic improvements in reducing baby deaths during sleep since the 1990s, when recommendations were introduced to place babies on their back for sleep.

This and other safe sleep practices can help lower the risk of sleep-related infant deaths.

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Man putting baby in a crib

There are about 3,500 sleep-related deaths among US babies each year.

Mother putting a baby in a crib

22% of mothers reported not placing their baby on his or her back to sleep, as recommended.

Baby sleeping on a crib

39% of mothers reported using soft bedding (not recommended) when placing babies to sleep.

Past Issues


About Vital Signs

The CDC Vital Signs monthly report was launched in 2010. It includes a MMWR Early Release, a graphic fact sheet and website, a media release, and social media tools. Most of the materials are available in English and Spanish.

Vital Signs is released the first Tuesday of every month. Issues include colorectal and breast cancer screening, obesity, alcohol and tobacco use,  HIV testing, motor vehicle safety, cardiovascular disease, teen pregnancy and healthcare-associated infections, foodborne disease and more.

Please sign up to get Vital Signs through email each month at Vital Signs. Feel free to share CDC Vital Signs information broadly with your partners. Take advantage of CDC’s social media tools, such as the CDC Vital Signs buttons and email updates. You can have CDC Vital Signs reports sent directly to your own website to display through our content syndication service.

  • Page last reviewed: January 9, 2018
  • Page last updated: January 9, 2018
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Communications (OADC)
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communications (OADC)