Follow the ABCs for safe infant sleep

When my daughter was born in 2017, I thought I knew the rules for “safe sleep.” After all, with a job in health care marketing, I shared posts on social media from this very blog about the dangers of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), which is often related to unsafe sleep practices.

So, what was wrong when I put my baby girl to sleep? Out of convenience (plus, some influence from friends and baby gear marketing), she slept in a Fisher Price® Rock ‘n Play for this first few months of her life.

Baby gear such as the Rock ‘n Play (which has since been recalled) and the “SwaddleMe By Your Bed” infant sleeper are inclined. While I thought this would keep my daughter from choking, it actually put her at higher risk because her head could easily slump over causing her airway to close.

UofL Hospital’s Center for Women & Infants recommends FOLLOWING THE ABCs for SAFE INFANT SLEEP:

A – ALONE – Put babies to sleep in their own crib or bassinet.

  • Do not put them in beds with other children or adults. They could accidentally roll onto the infant or too close to the baby’s mouth/nose, causing the baby to suffocate.
  • Keep all blankets, stuffed animals, pillows and bumper pads out of the baby’s bed – it could fall over their face and cause suffocation. A sleep sack, swaddle blanket or sleeper pajamas will keep the baby warm and comfortable.

B – BACK – Put babies to sleep on their backs. Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die from an infant sleep-related death. Teach grandparents/other caregivers that “back is best.” This will not increase the baby’s risk of choking.

C – CRIB – Cribs and bassinets are the safest places for babies to sleep. Crib mattresses are firm, unlike adult beds that are soft. After nighttime feeding, always put the baby back in the crib or bassinet. To make it easier, keep a bassinet next to your bed.

When you’re purchasing a bassinet, make sure it’s one where your baby can lay flat. If your baby will go to day care, be sure to ask about their safe sleep practices and policies.


Expecting? Schedule a tour of UofL Hospital’s Center for Women & Infants. Call 502-562-3325.

Call 502-588-4400 to schedule an appointment with UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women’s Health.