A,B,C’s of Safe Sleep

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is committed to educating families about safe sleep practices.  The A,B,C’s of Safe Sleep stands for A = Alone, B = on the Back, C = in a Crib.  During 2006-2009 more infant deaths occurred due to unsafe sleep practices than because of SIDS.  Some of the unsafe practices included use of soft bedding such as pillows, blankets, quilts, or bumper pads; bed- sharing with adults or siblings; infants placed on tummies or sides when put to sleep; or infants placed on a couch, chair, car seat, or swing for sleep.  Infant exposure to second hand smoke or adult caregivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs can increase the risk.

What are the recommendations for safe sleep for infants?

  • Place the infant on their back to sleep.
  • The infant should be alone in a crib or Pack N’ Play.
  • Younger Infants (newborn until able to roll over) may be bundled for the first few months with cotton blankets wrapped snuggly around the baby up to the baby’s chest with hands free, or older infants (around 3-4 months) can be placed in a sleep sack.  Stop using sleep sacks once the infant pulls up or stands and transition to well fitting P.J.’s.
  • Maintain a smoke free environment.
  • Avoid overheating the infant.  Baby should not be sweating or hot to the touch.  Avoid using fleece because it doesn’t breathe.
  • Use a firm mattress covered with a fitted sheet.
  • Remove pillows, blankets, stuffed toys, and other objects from the crib.  Don’t use devices to prop the baby on their side.
  • Try a pacifier once breast feeding is established.
  • Use an approved crib (slats no wider than a soda can).


-Julie Averbeck, RN, MS, CPNP

Julie Averbeck, RN, MS, CPNP

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