SAFE SLEEP PRACTICES FOR BABY
1. Practice SIDS reduction in your program by using the Caring for Our Children standards.
2. Always place babies to sleep on their backs during naps and at nighttime.
3. Don’t cover the heads of babies with a blanket or overbundle them in clothing and blankets.
4. Avoid letting the baby get too hot. The infant could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and/or rapid breathing. Dress the baby lightly for sleep. Set the room temperature in a range that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
5. Talk with families about the importance of sleep positioning, and encourage them to follow these guidelines at home.
A safe sleep policy should include the following:
1. Healthy babies should always sleep on their backs. Because babies sleeping on their sides are more likely to accidently roll onto their stomach, the side position is not as safe as the back and is not recommended.
2. Require a physician’s note for non-back sleepers that explains why the baby should not use a back-sleeping position, how the child should be placed to sleep, and a time frame that the instructions are to be followed.
3. Use safety-approved cribs and firm mattresses (cradles and bassinets may be used, but choose those that are JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certified for safety).
4. Keep cribs free of toys, stuffed animals, andextra bedding.
5. If a blanket is used, place the child’s feet to the foot of the crib and tuck in a light blanket along the sides and foot of the mattress. The blanket should not come up higher than the infant’s chest. Sleep clothing, such as sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets, are good alternatives to blankets.
6. Sleep only 1 baby per crib.
7. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
8. Do not use wedges or infant positioners, since there’s no evidence that they reduce the risk of SIDS.
9. Never allow smoking in a room where babies sleep, as exposure to smoke is linked to an increased risk of SIDS.
10. Have supervised “tummy time” for babies who are awake. This will help babies strengthen their muscles and develop normally.
11. Teach all staff, substitutes, and volunteers about safe sleep policies and practices and be sure to review these practices often.
When a new baby is coming into the program, be sure to talk to the parents about your safe sleep policy and how their baby sleeps. If the baby sleeps in a way other than on her back, the child’s parents or guardians need a note from the child’s physician that explains how she should sleep, the medical reason for this position and a time frame for this position. This note should be kept on file and all staff, including substitutes and volunteers, should be informed of this special situation. It is also a good idea toput a sign on the baby’s crib.