skip to main content

Safe Sleep

Babies sleep safest when they are alone, on their backs, in a crib in the parents' room for the first year of life.

Did you know?

  • Suffocation and strangulation in an adult bed is the leading cause of injury-related death for Florida infants under age 1.
  • Infant deaths due to unsafe sleep environments are completely preventable.

You can help keep your baby safe during sleep using the following tips:

  • Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times—naps and at night.
    Babies' anatomy and gag reflex will prevent them from choking while sleeping on their backs. Babies who sleep on their sides or stomachs are at an increased risk of sleep-related death.
  • Place your baby to sleep in a safety-approved crib or bassinette.
    Cribs should have a firm, flat mattress covered only by a fitted sheet. Sleeping on soft surfaces can increase the risk of sleep-related death.
  • Keep your baby's crib or bassinet in the same room where you sleep for the first year of life.
    Sharing a room with your baby is much safer than bed sharing and may decrease the risk of sleep-related death by as much as 50%. Do not smoke in the room where the baby sleeps.
  • Keep soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads and toys out of your baby's sleep area.
    Additionally, do not cover your baby's head or allow your baby to get too hot. Dress your baby in no more than one layer more than you would wear. If you are concerned your baby will get cold, use a wearable blanket.
  • Offer a pacifier.
    Pacifier use has been linked to a decreased risk of sleep-related death. For breastfed infants, delay pacifier introduction until 1 month of age to ensure breastfeeding is firmly established.
  • Tell everyone who takes care of your baby how to keep him or her safe during sleep.

Governor Ron DeSantis has recognized October 2021 as Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Florida.

Shopping for expectant or new parents? Be sure you're shopping smart! Some gifts marketed to parents can be unsafe for babies. View our gift guide.

Safe sleep educational materials listed below may be downloaded and reproduced free of charge. To obtain higher resolution files for professional printing, please contact Zoe Linafelt at zlinafelt@ounce.org.

Help Floridians understand the importance of creating safe sleep environments for infants. We invite partners to participate in our safe sleep social media campaign by downloading and using our social media toolkit. Download the social media toolkit here.