"Each new life...

No matter how fragile or brief...

Forever changes the world."

Contact Because of Cody...

815-293-SIDS (7437)                 E-mail:  info@becauseofcody.org                PO Box 24, Bourbonnais, IL 60914

DID you know that you can SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep related infant deaths by following these Safe Sleep Steps?

Creating a Safe Sleep Environment for Babies

The MOST EFFECTIVE WAY to reduce a baby's risk of SIDS is to place them on their BACK to SLEEP for EVERY nap and nighttime.
  • Side sleeping is NOT safe and is NOT advised.
  • Babies should be placed on their backs to sleep, but when they are able to roll over BOTH ways on their own, they should be allowed to sleep in whatever position they choose.

Babies should ALWAYS sleep ALONE in a safety approved CRIB with a FIRM

MATTRESS that is covered with a SNUG FITTED SHEET.

  • Playpens or bassinets that are safety approved by the CPSC are an acceptable substitute.

           > ALWAYS use the mattress that comes with the playpen or bassinet & do NOT add extra padding to 

              cushion the mattress.

  • A FIRM mattress will not sink down at all when you press down on it with your hand.  
  • The mattress should fit TIGHTLY in the crib.  You shouldn't be able to fit more than 1 finger between the mattress & the crib frame.  
  • You should not be able to fit a soda can through the crib slats; if you can they are too far apart.  
  • NO pillows, cushions or any soft objects should be put under baby to cushion the mattress.  
  • As of 6/28/11, all cribs manufactured & sold (including resale) must comply with new & improved federal safety standards.  All drop side cribs were recalled.  

Room-sharing is recommended.  Bed-sharing is NOT.

  • Room-sharing is when the baby sleeps in the parent's room but in a crib, bassinet or playpen close to the parents' bed.
  • Bed-sharing is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS and NEVER okay!  It increases the risk of suffocation, asphyxia, entrapment, falls, strangulation, overheating and rebreathing or airway obstruction.
  • Because of the high risk of suffocation & entrapment, it is strongly recommended that you do not sit in bed, on a couch or in a comfy chair when you are very tired & may potentially fall aslsep.
  • If you do feed baby in bed or while sitting on the couch or in a comfy chair, make sure you put baby back in his crib, bassinet or playpen when you are tired.
  • Separate sleep areas should be provided for twins and other multiples.

AVOID soft sleep surfaces and keep soft objects and loose bedding out of                        

the crib.

  • Babies that are put on soft surfaces such as couches or soft mattresses have a significant

          increased risk of dying from SIDS.

  • There should NOT be any loose bedding, such as pillows, blankets, quilts, comforters, or stuffed toys in the baby's crib. (including pets)
  • Bumper pads, wedges, positioners & other soft obects should be REMOVED from the crib. 

           >In 9/2011, Chicago became the 1st city in the country to ban the sale of crib bumper pads due to concern

              that they pose a suffocation risk to babies. 

           >Bumper pads were originally made to cover spaces between crib slats that were too far apart.  There are

              now regulations on this, so they are no longer needed. 

  • Do NOT leave a bib on babies while they sleep.
  • Blankets should NOT be used in a baby's crib.  A HALO SleepSack wearable blanket, other sleep clothing or layers of clothing should be used instead. 

           >Make sure babies don't get attached to blankets (or other security items), even small ones because there

              is a high risk of suffocation & SIDS occurring. 

Avoid using Positioners, Wedges & Bumper Pads

  • These products increase the risk of suffocation and entrapment & there is NO benefit to

          using any of these products.

  • NOTE:  Bumper pads were "invented" because baby's head could fit between the crib slats and that was     

          obviously a dangerous situation.  Now, there are federal guidelines on how far apart the crib slats have to

          be (check out CPSC for details and information on this).  The risks bumper pads pose, such as suffocation,

          strangulation, entrapment and obstructing adequate air flow, which can cause carbon dioxide to build up a

          round the baby's face, by FAR OUTWEIGH the very minor risk of a baby sticking their arm or leg out

          between the slats.  VERY FEW injuries have been caused by this and NONE of them were life threatening. 

         On the other hand, the risks bumper pads pose ARE life threatening.

Keep your home and car SMOKE-FREE

  • Babies are more susceptible to 2nd and 3rd hand smoke because their lungs are still developing.
  • Because chemicals from 2nd and 3rd hand smoke can be swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through

          the skin of nonsmokers, babies are at particular risk.

  • Up to 90% of nicotine from cigarette smoke can stick to walls, clothes, hair & skin.
  • When someone comes into contact with a baby, even if they are not smoking at the time, the baby still comes in contact with those toxins. 

Make sure baby DOES NOT OVERHEAT while they sleep.

  • An overheated baby is more likely to go into a deep sleep from which it is difficult to waken them. 
  • Since babies cannot regulate their own body temperature well, there are some steps you can take to keep baby from overheating.

           > You should keep the room temperature between 65-75 in the winter and 68-82 in the summer.

           > Babies should be dressed in 1 more layer than an adult is wearing.  DON'T OVERDRESS THEM.

          > Do NOT over-bundle baby or use thick, fluffy blankets.

  • Make sure the baby's head remains UNCOVERED during sleep.  Babies "vent" through their head, so if their head is covered they have no way to vent, which in turn will cause them to overheat.

           > NO hat needs to be worn after leaving the hospital, unless baby is going outside in the cold or wind.

  • If you take your baby out in the cold; DON'T FORGET to uncover, unwrap, unzip & remove their hat when indoors or in a warm car. 

Babies Should NOT Sleep in Sitting Devices

  • Sitting devices include car seats, bouncy seats, strollers, infant slings or carriers.
  • There are several concerns with allowing babies to sleep in sitting devices:

           > The posture a baby assumes while in one of these sitting devices can partially compress the chest wall & 

              reduce airway size, resulting in lower levels of oxygen.

          > When a car seat is installed correctly in a car, the baby is seated at a particular angle, but if the car seat is

              sitting on the floor, the baby is not at the correct angle. 

                * Make sure to read the owner's manual so that you are installing your baby's car seat at the proper

                   angle, which is crucial.

                * Typically this is at a 45 degree angle, which will prevent the baby from slumping & to help keep their

                   airway open.

          > If a baby falls asleep in a sitting device, they should be moved to a crib, bassinet or playpen as soon as it is


          > The risk of a baby getting flat spots on their head increases the more time they spend in a sitting device.

          > There is a risk of injuries resulting from falls from car seats being placed on elevated surfaces. (counter,

             table, couch, bed or any raised surface off of the floor)

          > There is a concern of suffocation deaths due to car seats overturning after being placed on a bed, mattress

              or couch.

          > A warning issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission states that there is a suffocation hazard to

             babies, especially those who are younger than 4 months, who are carried in baby sling carriers.

                * When carrying a baby in a sling, it is important to ensure that the baby's head is up and above the fabric,

                    their face is visible and their nose and mouth are clear of obstructions.

                     ~ It is important to eliminate the risk of baby overheating or suffocating while being carried in a sling


Experts recommend giving babies a pacifier at nap & nighttime for the 1st year

of life if they will take it.

  • The pacifier does NOT need to be reinserted once the baby falls asleep.
  • Make sure breastfeeding is firmly established before offering a breastfed baby a pacifier.  (approximately 2-4 weeks of age)
  • Make sure the pacifier is clean and dry.
  • Do NOT use a string or anything else to attach pacifiers around your baby's neck or to their clothing.
  • It is felt that pacifier use may keep babies from falling into a deep sleep, which is protective against SIDS.


  • Tummy Time is recommended EVERY DAY, 2-3 times a day, starting when you bring baby home

          from the hospital.

           > Start with 5 minutes at a time and increase the time as baby gets stronger.  Ideally 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times 

              a day is best.

           > Keep it up even if the baby doesn't seem to like it, eventually they will get used to it.

           > Scheduling Tummy Time for after naps or diaper changes often works best.

  • Tummy Time helps strengthen your baby's head, neck & shoulder muscles which will help them learn to sit up.  It also helps to prevent flat spots on the head. 

Regular well-baby check-ups and scheduled immunizations are RECOMMENDED

Follow your pediatrician's recommendations & discuss any questions or concerns you may have with                   them.

Using "home cardiorespiratory monitors" does NOT reduce the risk of SIDS, therefore they are NOT recommended.  (unless prescribed by your doctor for a specific medical condition)