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Sleep Safety

The ABC’s of Safe Sleep: Infants and babies should always sleep:

  • Alone

  • On their Backs

  • In a safe Crib

Sleep suffocation is the leading cause of reported child deaths in Illinois. Your baby should not sleep in a bed, couch or chair with anyone, even other children. If you breastfeed in bed, soothe your baby back to sleep while standing and return her to crib when she is finished. Always place your baby on his back to sleep.

Your baby should sleep in a crib with a firm mattress covered by a tightly fitted sheet. Babies die every week in Illinois while sleeping on adult beds, couches, pillows, blankets and other soft surfaces as well as in car seats, bouncy seats and infant swings.

Additional sleep safety tips:

  • Keep stuffed animals, toys, pillows, blankets, quilts, crib bumpers and sleep positioners out of your baby's crib.
  • Don't smoke before or after your baby is born, and don't let others smoke around your baby.
  • Try using a pacifier when placing your baby to sleep, but don't force it. If you are breastfeeding your baby, wait until he is one month old or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.
  • Don’t let your baby overheat during sleep. Dress her lightly for sleeping, and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.
  • Your baby needs plenty of supervised “tummy time” when he is awake to help build strong neck and shoulder muscles. Don’t let your baby spend too much time in car seats, carriers and bouncers.
  • If you are having difficulty getting your baby to sleep, contact your pediatrician or the Fussy Baby Network at 1-888-431-BABY (2229).
  • Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Crib Safety Information Center for sleep safety tips and a list of recalled products. 

For more information, follow the ABC’s of Safe Sleep in English, en españolChinese (中国) or Polish (Polskie).