Each year, about 30 infants die from sleep-related deaths in Philadelphia. Most of these deaths occur when an infant is put to sleep in a way that is comfortable for an adult, but dangerous for a baby. These infant deaths are preventable. Here’s what you, family, and friends can do to keep your babies safe at naptime and bedtime.
Follow every step, every time:
- Always put your baby to sleep in a Pack ’n Play or crib.
- Your baby’s Pack ’n Play or crib is just for the baby. NO pillows, bumper, blankets, or toys.
- Lay your baby on her or his back.
Request a Pack ’n Play:
Contact the Division of Maternal, Child and Family Health through this online request form or at (215) 519-8640, or contact Maternity Care Coalition.
Other ways to keep your baby safe:
- Do not smoke in your baby’s home.
- Breastfeed your baby, if you are able.
- Once breastfeeding is going well, you can use a pacifier.
- Avoid using alcohol or drugs.
- Immunize your baby on time.
- Do not overheat or overbundle your baby.
- When your baby begins to roll, stop swaddling.
- Do not use pillows, in-bed bassinets, or “co-sleepers” (a separate sleeping area that attaches to your bed) that claim to allow an infant to sleep in an adult bed.
- Do not use a home heart monitor.
- When your baby is awake, you can supervise tummy time to help prevent a flattened back of the head.
- Breastfeeding Support (Philadelphia Department of Public Health)
- Cribs for Kids (Maternity Care Coalition)
- Quit Smoking Help (SmokeFree Philly)
- Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- A Running Start Health Philadelphia (City of Philadelphia)
- Safe Sleep for Babies – Eliminating Hazards (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Sleep-related Infant Deaths in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Department of Public Health, CHART, Vol. 2, February 2017)