Dos and Don’ts for baby bedtime

Dos and Don’ts for baby bedtime

A new study suggests that, despite a long-standing recommendation that babies should be put to sleep on their backs, more than half of parents do not exclusively do so.

Jessica Cazares, an Advocate nurse in the Mother Baby unit at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, says infants should indeed sleep on their backs to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

SIDS, the leading cause of death among infants one to twelve months old, is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history.

To help protect against SIDS and other sleep-related deaths, Cazares recommends the following “Dos and Don’ts” when putting a baby to bed.


  • Place infant flat on their back and on firm surface for naps or nighttime sleep.
  • Remove any loose articles of linens/pillows, soft objects, and toys from crib.
  • Upon establishment of breastfeeding, a pacifier can be offered to infant for naptime and bedtime.
  • Keep the infant’s face free from any coverings.
  • Ensure temperature is comfortable in home and dress infant in similar clothing that adult would wear.
  • Schedule routine checkups and immunizations for infant.


  • Do not co-sleep with newborn or infant. This can place the infant at risk for injury, including suffocation or infant fall.
  • Do not smoke during pregnancy or after pregnancy.
  • Do not use car seats, strollers, or other types of sitting devices for routine sleep.

Education is key in helping prevent safety issues for infants. Share these tips with grandparents, babysitters, other relatives and friends!

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One Comment

  1. You do realize that co-sleeping is and has been the *norm* throughout history and most of the world today? Most humans have not had the luxury of separate, enclosed sleeping arrangements for their babies. Nonetheless, miraculously, the human race has thrived.

    “Upon establishment of breastfeeding….”

    Or bottle feeding, right? Because both are perfectly healthy ways to raise babies.

    Incidentally, I suppose newborns should be placed on their backs, but by about 3 or 4 months, babies can (and do!) roll over, so it really doesn’t matter how you put them down – they’ll find their own comfortable way to sleep.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.