SwaddleDesigns Safe Sleep Program strives to educate new parents and caregivers using the most recent information and research to increase awareness of Safe Sleep practices and help parents reduce risk of SIDS.
Together, we can create safer sleep environments for Babies to Sleep, Grow, and Thrive.
Always Place Baby on Back to Sleep
Always place baby on his or her back for sleep - for nighttime sleep and nap time sleep. The back sleeping position reduces risk of SIDS.
Many pediatricians recommend swaddling baby for sleep time during the first three months. Until approximately 3 months of age, babies have the Moro or startle reflex which causes them to flail their arms and legs, and wake themselves up. Swaddling helps reduce awakenings caused by the startle reflex. Research has proven that babies sleep better on their back when swaddled and swaddling may help keep babies on their backs. Researchers have concluded that when baby sleeps better on his or her back, then parents and caregivers are less likely to place baby in the dangerous tummy position.
The startle reflex usually disappears when baby is around three months old. This age is a good time to transition baby from swaddling to our Transitional Swaddle Sack®.
If your baby is able to roll over or show signs of starting to roll over, it's time to stop swaddling and use a Transitional Swaddle Sack®., or zzZipMe Sack® wearable blanket without arm restraints.
It is an important responsibility of the caregiver to dress baby appropriately for sleep based on the temperature of their environment. Parents should not overdress or underdress baby.
As a general guide, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dressing baby in no more than one layer more than an adult would use to be comfortable in the same environment. Baby's head should be uncovered.
Baby's temperature can be assessed with reasonable precision by human touch. Abdominal temperature is representative of the core temperature and it is reliable in the diagnosis of hypothermia.
For many years it was considered okay if baby's hands and feet were cool. The belief was the coolness was due to baby's immature circulatory system. However, recently, the World Health Organization states that baby's hands and feet should be pink and warm.
Warm and pink feet of the baby indicate that the baby is in thermal comfort. But when feet are cold and trunk is warm it indicates that the baby is in cold stress. In hypothermia both feet and trunk are cold to touch. Overchilling is a SIDS risk factor (Williams et al)
Baby's hands, feet, tummy, chest and back should be warm and dry. A sweaty neck and back is a sign of overheating and a layer of baby's clothing should be removed. A cold tummy is a sign baby is too cool and an adult should hold baby skin to skin until baby is warm and an additional layer should be added. Baby should be rechecked.
Babies are not good at regulating their own temperatures. No blanket can naturally regulate baby's temperature for them, so parents need to touch and feel their baby to ensure baby is not too hot or too cold.
Do not over bundle a sick or feverish baby. Do not overheat or over cool the baby's room.
Most medical experts recommend a sleep environment of 65-72°F (18-22°C)
Firm Sleep Surface
Baby should sleep on a firm sleep surface, in a bassinet, cradle or crib near the mother's bed, without any soft toys, pillows or loose bedding. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a fitted sheet on the baby's mattress. Babies should not be placed for sleep on water beds, quilts, pillows, sheepskins, or other fluffy surfaces.
No Soft Objects
No soft objects and loose bedding in baby's bed during sleep time. The AAP recommends no stuffed animals, no sheepskin, no quilts, no positioners, no pillows, and no bumpers at all.
Always keep baby's environment smoke-free by not smoking when pregnant, near your baby, or in an area where your baby spends time or sleeps. Maternal smoking during pregnancy has emerged as a major risk factor in almost every epidemiologic study of SIDS.
Be sure that air can circulate freely around baby's face. A small fan in baby's room can increase ventilation, but should not blow air directly on baby.
Allow Baby to Suck on Fingers or a Pacifier
Sucking is the most organizing behavior of the newborn – it helps baby with sleep/wake control. Infant researchers recommend parents to swaddle baby with hands within reach of mouth, so baby can suck on his or her fingers to self-soothe.
Consider using a pacifier at sleep time once breastfeeding is established. A pacifier should not be reinserted if it falls out and baby is asleep.
Breastfeeding is encouraged. Breastfeed, if you can.
Allow time for tummy time when baby is awake and supervised. Place baby on tummy during play time.
Do not use Positioners
The AAP discourages use of positioning devices.
Keep all cords away from crib
Electrical cords from video monitors, camera and window treatments should be kept a minimum of 3 feet from baby’s crib and secured out of child’s reach. Cords are a strangulation hazard.
Share Safe Sleep Guidelines
Please share these Safe Sleep Guidelines with all caregivers who may be assisting you and may be putting your baby to sleep.
The information contained on this website is intended to complement, not substitute for, the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Consult with your own pediatrician who can discuss your individual needs and counsel you.