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Safe Sleep

Long live dreams!

We all want to see babies grow up to live the dreams we have for them. Find out about safe sleep — it’s one way to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID), commonly known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Mom sitting in bed holding her baby

Why Is Safe Sleep Important?

Safe sleep can save a baby’s life.

In Delaware, about one infant dies every month from unsafe sleep conditions. When it comes to babies, parents can feel they don’t have much control. But one thing parents and caregivers can control is safe sleep.

Safe Sleep Rules

Safe sleep can be simple! Follow these rules to make sure babies are sleeping safely.

Baby sleeping alone in a crib following the Safe Sleep rules

Babies should sleep:

  1. Alone.

    • Babies should always sleep alone and never in a bed with anyone else, not even for naps.
    • It is not safe for babies to sleep on a parent’s chest.
  2. On their back.

    • Babies should sleep on their back, even for naps.
  3. In an empty crib.

    • Nothing else should be in the crib — no pillows, quilts, blankets. Wedges and bumper pads should not be used.
    • Use a fitted sheet that’s made to fit the crib’s mattress.
    • Dress the baby in a one-piece sleeper or sleep sack.
  4. In a smoke-free room or area.

Need tips on safe sleep?

Baby’s Safe Sleep Space

Right from the start, it is important for babies to have a safe place to sleep. Looking for tips on how to prepare a baby’s safe sleep area?

  • Make sure the baby’s bassinet or crib is approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Follow the directions carefully when assembling.
  • Use a firm infant mattress with a fitted sheet.
  • No more than two fingers of space should be between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • A soda can should not be able to fit through the crib slats.
A smiling baby laying in a crib set up for safe sleep

Have questions about safe sleep?

If you have any questions about safe sleep, be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician.

Additional Resources

Below are resources and outside services that can help.

Cribs for Kids

The Cribs for Kids® program provides both education on safe-sleep practices as well as a safe crib for those in need.

Safe to Sleep

Link to the National Institute of Health’s Safe to Sleep page, which offers safe infant sleep basics, resources, research, activities, and more.

American Academy of Pediatrics

A complete list of all American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.

Examples of Delaware Thrives Safe Sleep for Babies plan resources: posters, brochures, facts sheets

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Free resources

Need posters, brochures, fact sheets, and more? We have materials to help you share information for every life stage.

© 2024. Delaware Division of Public Health.