Safe Sleep Guidelines

At OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center, we are working toward our National Infant Safe Sleep Certification.

We have made a commitment to safe sleep practices and strive to educate our staff, patients and the community about safe sleep practices.

Safe Sleep Guidelines

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are around 3,400 sleep related deaths among babies in the United States each year.

Safe sleep practices are designed to reduce the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation, and other deaths related to unsafe sleep practices.

Thanks to safe sleep practices, sleep related deaths like SIDS are on the decline, however, it is important that all health providers and parents know how to create a safe sleep environment:

  • Never place a crib near a window with blind, curtain cords or baby monitor cords to prevent strangulation.
  • Always place a baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night, to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Use a firm sleep surface, covered by a fitted sheet; a crib, bassinet, or portable crib that conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended.
  • Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
  • Keep your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep during the first year. Room sharing, not bed sharing.
  • Always place the baby in a safety-approved crib, bassinet, portable crib for sleep.
  • Do not attempt to fix a broken crib; replace it.
  • Sitting devices like bouncy seats, swings, infant carriers or strollers should not be used for routine sleep.
  • Keep soft objects such as pillows and blankets, toys and bumper pads out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Do not smoke or vape during pregnancy or allow smoking or vaping around your baby.
  • Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS after breastfeeding is established.
  • Supervised Skin to Skin is recommended to all mothers and infants immediately following birth regardless of feeding or delivery, (as soon as the mother is medically stable, awake and able to respond to her newborn) and to continue for at least an hour. Once the mother starts to get sleepy, return the baby to the bassinet.