Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month

October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month so we are sharing our Special Edition Newsletter that covers tips for safe sleep, overcoming barriers to safe sleep and important information on the “S” in the ABCS of Safe Sleep. Our Newsletter in its entirety can be found here: 2023 October Safe Sleep Newsletter

Tips for Infant Safe Sleep

  1. Always put baby on their back to sleep.
  2. Drugs and alcohol increase risk of unsafe sleep deaths. Don’t fall asleep with baby if you have either in your system.
  3. Be aware of exhaustion! Don’t fall asleep with baby in your arms, in a chair, or in bed.
  4. Don’t let baby sleep in a swing or car carrier. Always move baby to a crib.
  5. Don’t put anything in the crib with baby. No blankets, stuffed animals or toys!
  6. Don’t let baby overheat. No head coverings while they are sleeping.
  7. Always use a fitted crib sheet.
  8. Move crib to your room so baby can be with you but not in bed with you.
  9. When feeding baby, set an alarm on your phone to wake you up every few minutes in the event you dose off.
  10. Make sure everyone caring for your baby knows about safe sleep.

Overcoming Barriers to Safe Sleep

Here are a few ways to help caregivers overcome barriers to infant safe sleep…

“It’s easier to sleep in same bed for feeding and checking on baby.”

Instead of sleeping in the bed, put the crib or pack n play in the same room with you. It’s safest for baby and easier than going into a different room in the middle of the night.

“Baby can sleep in adult bed if sheets and pillows are taken off.”

Consider toddlers or other children in your home climbing in bed. Think about pets that may jump on the bed.What is the softness of the mattress? Remember adult beds are made for adults not babies.

“Baby sleeps better in car seat. Why move them if they are sleeping nicely.”

This graphic from the Maryland Department of Human Services does a good job showing what can happen when using sitting or carrying devices (car seats, carrying slings, etc.) A caregiver should ensure the baby’s head is in a neutral position. Babies experience positional asphyxiation when the position of their body blocks their airway. This can happen if the baby’s nose and mouth are covered, if the baby’s head is slumped over, or if the baby’s chin is pressed into the chest.

“Baby might choke on vomit if they are on their back.”

This graphic from OCFS shows how it is actually safer for a baby to sleep on their back if they spit up or vomit.

“It is so easy to fall asleep on couch or in a chair when feeding baby.”

Try these tips from Charlies Kids to stay awake.

ABCS of Safe Sleep

The letter S is now officially part of the ABCS of Infant Safe Sleep.

A – Babies should sleep Alone

B – On their Back

C – In a Crib

S – In a Smoke-free home

Smoking Cession and Pregnancy Campaign

NY State Department of Health has a campaign to help mothers stop smoking:

  • If you’re pregnant and you smoke, your baby shares every cigarette you smoke.
  • Smoking during pregnancy causes many health problems for both you, and your unborn baby, including higher risk of birth defects and even death.
  • Quitting smoking will help you and your baby be healthy.
  • Quit today and your baby will get more oxygen, even after just one day.
  • Your baby will grow better and be less likely to be born too early.

You can also get more help with your smoking addiction by calling the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or visiting It’s a free and confidential service to help you become smoke-free. Talk with your health care provider to develop your quit smoking plan.

Resources and Links:

If you are interested in reading more about Safe Sleep or if you would like content to share, we have listed some great resources below.

US Dept of Health and Human Services, Safe to Sleep:

Charlies Kids, Safe Sleep Plan:

First Candle, Safe Sleep Information:

CDC, Safe Sleep for Babies