Safe Infant Sleep: Basic Rules

Considering how much a newborn should sleep, infant sleep is a topic of concern to parents from the earliest days. When it comes to baby sleep, there are recommendations that must be followed to ensure the safety of the child in sleep. You will learn about them in this article.

Why sleep safety is so important

When you follow safe sleep practices by putting your baby to bed at night or during the day, you protect your baby from the dangers that arise during infant sleep.

These dangers include accidental suffocation, falls, stuck fingers, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

We tell you what you should and shouldn’t do to ensure your baby sleeps safely in the next two sections. 7 Facts for parent

Safe Sleep: How to Organize

Following these guidelines will create a safe environment for baby sleep.

  • Make sure that the crib meets current safety standards. For example, do not use cribs with a removable edge: a child can fall out of such a crib. The distance between the bars should not be more than 7 cm, so that the child’s head cannot get caught between them. Headboards and footboards must not have any notches where your baby’s head could get stuck. The corners of the bed should be made in such a way that the baby cannot get his loose clothes caught in them.
  • Lay your baby on his or her back. This applies to both daytime and nighttime sleep. It is the safest position for babies who are not yet able to change position or turn over on their own. According to accepted recommendations, a baby should sleep on its back until one year of age. All other positions provoke the risk of asphyxiation and SVDS. Even if the baby suffers from reflux, he should sleep on his back. If your baby rolls over on his or her stomach in his or her sleep, roll him or her back over to his or her back. If your baby can roll over on his or her own, you have nothing to worry about. If you have any questions about safe sleep, be sure to ask your pediatrician.
  • For the first 6 months of life, your baby should sleep in a room with his or her parents in a separate crib. This reduces the risk of SVDS by 50%. If you want, you can leave your baby sleeping in your room until he or she is a year old. Sleeping in the same room is much safer than co-sleeping. If you stay in the same room with your baby, it’s much easier to keep an eye on him, feed him, and soothe him at night.
    Use a firm mattress. The mattress your baby sleeps on should be firm and fit snugly into the crib. The sheet must be tight: elastic band or zippered sheets are suitable.
  • No objects in the crib. No loose bedding, pillows, blankets, plaids, bumpers or toys in the crib. All of these items can cause suffocation. Experts agree that having any of the above in the crib is allowed after the baby turns one year old.
  • A pacifier during day and night sleep. Sucking on a pacifier reduces the risk of SVRS, even if your baby drops the pacifier from his or her mouth at some point. For breastfed babies, give the pacifier 2-3 weeks after breastfeeding is established. If your baby eats from a bottle, you can give the pacifier at any time. Do not use nipple attachments (chains, ribbons, beads, etc.) because of the danger of strangulation.

When the baby starts to stand on its own, lower the mattress. This prevents him from climbing over the rim. Better yet, lower the bottom before your baby is able to stand.

Baby sleeping

Safe Sleep: What Not to Do

To make sure your baby is safe to sleep:

  • Don’t practice co-sleeping. The risk of SVRS and suffocation is much higher when you sleep in the same bed with your baby. You may roll over and accidentally bump your baby in his or her sleep, or your baby may get tangled up in the bedding. There is also a risk that your baby will fall off the bed while you sleep. Put your baby to sleep in his room, but in a separate crib.
    The baby should only sleep in a crib or bassinet. Never put your baby to sleep on a couch or chair. He could fall, get stuck in a crevice, or suffocate because of the cushions, for example. Do not let your baby sleep in an ergot carrier, sling, car seat or stroller. Try to move him to the crib as soon as possible if he does fall asleep. If you breastfeed lying in bed, put away the pillows and blankets beforehand in case you fall asleep. As soon as you wake up, move your baby to the crib.
  • Do not overheat the baby. The room where the baby sleeps should be at a comfortable temperature. The baby should be dressed at most one layer warmer than you. If your baby is sweating or if his chest feels hot to the touch, he is probably hot.
  • Cords and wires should not be accessible to your baby. Remove all cords and wires from the crib (for example, from the baby monitor or curtains and blinds). The mobile should also be out of the baby’s reach.
    Do not use a crib that has missing or damaged parts. Check that the crib meets current safety requirements. Periodically check the fixtures and condition of the crib (for cracks, etc.).
  • Protect your baby from tobacco smoke. Do not smoke in the house with your baby. Tobacco smoke can increase the risk of SIDS.

How often when you put your baby to bed do you worry about his safety? Do you regularly listen to his breathing to make sure he’s okay? Here are some proven ways to keep your baby safe while he sleeps.

Sleep positioning

Although the risk of sudden infant death (SIDS) decreases significantly in babies over six months, until they’re confidently rolling over from back to tummy and back again, put them to sleep on their backs. Just don’t be surprised if he rolls over one day. Six-month-old babies often toss and turn at night and can lift their head if breathing suddenly becomes difficult.

The following tips will help ensure your baby’s safety while sleeping:

  • Remove all fluffy objects from the crib, including pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys.
  • Continue breastfeeding if you can.
  • Control the temperature of the room; dress your baby lightly – he should be warm, but not hot.
  • Smoking in the baby’s room is strictly forbidden!
  • Make sure the baby’s mattress is clean, firm, and flat. The baby’s mattress is clean, firm, and lies flat in the crib.
  • Bedding should be well made.
  • No rattles or gadgets in the crib for babies over 5 months old. If you use a mobile, it should be suspended out of baby’s reach.

If the baby is already pulling up and standing up, the mattress should be placed at the lowest level.

More about the crib

Are you sure that your crib is safe for the baby?

If you bought a new one, then make sure that it meets the requirements of the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union and has documents proving it. But still worth to pay attention to a few points:

  • The distance between the bars of the walls should not exceed 6 cm.
  • In the headboard and footboard crib should not be decorative cutouts.
  • Do not use rocking cribs that can turn on their side.
  • Do not use cribs that are painted with lead paint.


Proper sleeping arrangements are essential for a happy and restful life for your baby and his parents. Baby sleep problems here