You can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Other Sleep-Related Causes of Infant Death

  • Always place baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night, to reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • Use a firm and flat sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib*, covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft items in the sleep area.

  • Share your room with baby. Keep baby in your room close to your bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for baby’s first year, but at least for the first 6 months.

  • Do not put soft objects, toys, crib bumpers, or loose bedding under baby, over baby, or anywhere in baby’s sleep area.


To reduce the risk of SIDS, women should:

  • Get regular prenatal care during pregnancy.

  • Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and using marijuana or illegal drugs during pregnancy or after the baby is born.

  • Do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby or in your baby’s environment.

  • Think about giving your baby a pacifier for naps and nighttime sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.


Breastfeed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • Breastfeeding has many health benefits for mother and baby. If you fall asleep while feeding or comforting baby in an adult bed, place him or her back in a separate sleep area as soon as you wake up.

  • Follow guidance from your health care provider on your baby’s vaccines and regular health checkups.

  • Avoid products that go against safe sleep recommendations, especially those that claim to prevent or reduce the risk for SIDS.

  • Do not use heart or breathing monitors in the home to reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • Give your baby plenty of tummy time when he or she is awake and someone is watching.

For more information about Gift of Life’s Safe Sleep Project and/or to request a safe sleep demonstration for your organization, call our Marketing and Community Outreach Office at (334) 273-7800 or email:

Additional information is available on the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Safe to Sleep® website:

* A crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard that follows the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended. For information on crib safety, contact the CPSC at 1-800-638-2772 or

Gift of Life receives funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to provide safe sleep education.


What Does A Safe Sleep Environment Look Like?