Infant Safe Sleep | MedStar Health
A mother takes a nap on a sofa while her newborn lays in a crib nearby.

MedStar Health supports safe sleep for infants

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), which includes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is the leading cause of injury death in the first year of life. Sleep is a big challenge for families with babies, but following safe sleep recommendations can prevent many SUID fatalities.

MedStar Franklin square is dedicated to the health and safety of our youngest patients through education to our staff, parents, caregivers and families.

Best practices for safe sleep

In 2022, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), updated recommendations for reducing the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths up to one year of age.

A safe sleep environment lowers the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths. Here are some ways you can help create a safe sleep environment.

  • Put your baby on their back for all naps & at night
  • Use a firm, flat sleep surface- A firm surface means that it shouldn't indent when your baby is lying on it. Any surface that inclines more than 10 degrees isn't safe for your baby to sleep on.
  • Never sleep with your baby- This includes twins and other multiples.
  • Instead of bed sharing, room share with your baby - This means keeping your baby's sleep area in the same room where you sleep for at least the first 6 months.
  • Keep soft objects & loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area - These objects can increase your baby's risk of entrapment, suffocation or strangulation. This includes pillows and pillow-like toys, quilts, comforters, mattress toppers, non-fitted sheets, blankets, toys, bumper pads or related products that attach to crib slats or sides.
  • Don't let your baby get overheated - Your baby only needs one more layer than you would wear in the same environment to be comfortable.

Other ways to lower SIDS risk

  • Feed your baby breast milk - The longer you give your baby breast milk, the more protection it gives.
  • Try giving your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime
    • If your baby is breastfed, wait until breastfeeding is established
    • It's OK if your baby doesn't want a pacifier.
    • Don't hang a pacifier around your baby's neck or attach it to their clothing when they're sleeping.
  • Make sure your baby has tummy time while awake every day
  • Get regular prenatal care & avoid substance use during pregnancy
  • Don't smoke or use nicotine during pregnancy or after your baby is born
  • Schedule and go to all well-child care visits
  • Swaddle your baby if you like
  • Be cautious when buying certain products
    • Avoid baby products that aren't consistent with safe sleep recommendations.
    • Don't use home cardiorespiratory monitors as a way to reduce the risk of SIDS.


Don't hesitate to talk with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about the safety of your baby's sleep environment

Cribs for Kids, safe sleep certification

MedStar Franklin Square has been awarded the Cribs for Kids National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification for our commitment to infant safe sleep.

Bronze designation

  • Implement hospital Infant Safe Sleep Policy
  • Promote safe sleep education on the hospital website
  • Promote hospital-wide infant safe sleep imagery
  • Provide safe sleep training to staff caring for infants < 1 year
  • Provide safe sleep education to family/caregivers of infant < 1 year