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Safe Sleep for Infants

Injury Prevention Program

How to Protect Sleepy Infants, Around the Clock

When babies sleep soundly, parents rest easier. Infants can sleep away most of the day during their first year of life — interrupted by late-night feedings, crying spells and time to steal the hearts of family and friends.

Parents and other care providers need to know about sleep-time risks that may occur during baby’s first year of life. These can range from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) to other risks such as overheating with heavy blankets or unsafe sleeping spaces that pose a risk of suffocation.

By following the experts’ safe sleep guidelines, you can help keep sleeping babies safe.

Safe Sleep Guidelines

Follow the ABCs of safe sleep: Alone, on their Back in a Crib for infants younger than 1 year of age:

  • Alone – Infants should sleep alone on a firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting sheet in a crib, playpen or bassinet. 
  • Back – Place your baby on their back, face-up, on a firm, safe sleep surface. Remove blankets, toys, pillows and bumpers. Avoid overheating or overdressing your baby. 
  • Crib – Move your sleepy infant from the swing, bouncer or car seat to a safe crib, playpen, portable playard or bassinet where they can sleep on their back.

Some parents want to bundle up babies in warm sleepers or heavy blankets, but this can lead to overheating, which can increase an infant’s risk of SIDS.

Pediatric experts recommend keeping sleep areas clear, sleepwear light and room temps cool. Simple sleepwear and a cool, firm and clutter-free sleeping space gives babies room to move and breathe fresh air freely and easily.

Practicing Healthy Habits

You can also protect your baby’s lung health, so your child breathes easier by not smoking, vaping or letting others smoke around your baby.

When your child is awake, plan a few tummy-time sessions for three to five minutes each day. This involves placing your baby stomach-down while the baby is awake, with adult supervision. Tummy-time will help build your baby’s arm, shoulder and trunk strength, and improve coordination. It also prevents flat spots on your baby’s soft skull.  

Safe Sleep Resources and Assistance for Qualifying Parents

Phoenix Children’s provides support to parents who may need a certified crib or other sleep products and guidance to create a safe sleep environment for baby. Parents can register for a training class and receive a safety kit to help keep their babies safe for every nap.

To participate, you must meet these qualifications:

  • You’re in your third trimester of pregnancy (28-40 weeks), or your baby is younger than 6 months and weighs under 20 lbs.
  • You don’t own a crib, playpen or a portable pack ‘n play playard.
  • You agree to complete the two-hour Safe Sleep and Home Safety training class at Phoenix Children’s.
  • You meet certain financial need and public-assistance eligibility guidelines.

Our community partners can contact Phoenix Children’s at 602-933-0960 or use our safe sleep referral form.

Related Resources – Safe Sleep

Learn and share trusted sleep safety information with others. Related resources for parents, families, caregivers and community members include:

  • Cribs for kids – Learn about safe sleep and assistance for qualifying families.
  • Safe products and recall news – Search to find safe cribs, furniture and more, and check for news about product recalls.
  • Safe sleep environment (flyer) – EnglishSpanish – View a photographic illustration of what a typical safe sleep environment looks like, plus a few convenient reminders.
  • Safe sleep class (flyer) English | Spanish – Share or display our flyer to let others know about safe sleep training at Phoenix Children’s.
  • Safe sleep video – Learn and share with others.
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