The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following:
Always put a baby to sleep on its back. (This includes naps.) Do NOT put a baby to sleep on its stomach. Also, a baby can roll onto the stomach from its side so this position should be avoided.
Put babies on a firm surface (such as in the crib) to sleep. Never allow the baby to sleep in bed with other children or adults, and do NOT put them to sleep on other surfaces such as a sofa.
Let babies sleep in the same room (NOT the same bed) as parents. If possible, babies' cribs should be placed in the parents' bedroom to allow for night-time feeding.
Avoid soft bedding materials. Babies should be placed on a firm, tight-fitting crib mattress without loose bedding. Use a light sheet to cover the baby. Do not use pillows, comforters, or quilts.
Make sure the room temperature is not too hot. The room temperature should be comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. A baby should not be hot to the touch.
Offer the baby a pacifier when going to sleep. Pacifiers at naptime and bedtime can reduce the risk of SIDS. Doctors think that a pacifier might allow the airway to open more, or prevent the baby from falling into a deep sleep. If the baby is breastfeeding, it is best to wait until 1 month before offering a pacifier, so that it doesn’t interfere with breastfeeding.
Do not use breathing monitors or products marketed as ways to reduce SIDS. Research found that these devices do not help prevent SIDS.
Other recommendations from SIDS experts:
- Keep your baby in a smoke-free environment.
- Mothers should avoid alcohol and drug use during and after pregnancy.
- Breastfeed your baby, if possible. Breastfeeding reduces some upper respiratory infections that may influence the development of SIDS.
- Never give honey to a child younger than 1 year old. Honey in very young children may cause infant botulism, which may be associated with SIDS.