Safe Sleep Q&A

You asked, we answered!

October is Safe Sleep Awareness month! During the month, we want to help raise awareness on safe sleep practices and focus on actions you and others can take to help your baby sleep safely and to reduce your baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

This week on our social media we asked our followers if they had questions regarding safe sleep and they sent in some great responses. Here are the answers! 

Q&A’s About Safe Sleep

1. When can I stop worrying about safe sleep? 

According to the CDC, after 6-months old, babies are typically able to lift their heads, roll over, or wake up more easily, and the risk of SIDS decreases dramatically. However, 10% of SIDS happens between 6 and 12 months of age. Safe sleep recommendations should be followed up to a baby’s first birthday. 

2. Why is it unsafe for babies to sleep on their bellies?

You should place a baby on their backs for all sleep times – naps and bedtime. Placing your baby on their stomach to sleep increases the risk of SIDS. Even if he spits up during sleep, babies’ anatomy and gag reflex help prevent him from choking while sleeping on his back.  

3. What about co-sleeping? Why isn’t it safe when generations have been doing this for so long?

We definitely understand how tempting it can be to hold and snuggle your baby to sleep in your bed. There are several reasons why we promote a baby sleeping in the same room as the parents, but on a separate sleep surface. When you’re sharing the same bed, it’s possible you or your partner could roll over onto your baby while sleeping. Your bedding could also obstruct her breathing or cause overheating. In 2019, 28% of all sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) were caused by strangulation and suffocation in an adult bed, according to the CDC.

4. Should we use props or products that help babies stay in the right position while sleeping?

According to the FDA, you should not use sleep positioners due to the increased risk of suffocation. The FDA has never cleared an infant sleep positioner that claims to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS.

5. What if my baby rolls on his stomach while sleeping? Should I roll them back on their back?

Rolling over is an important and natural part of your baby’s growth and development. Most babies start rolling over on their own around 4 to 6 months of age. If your baby rolls over on her own during sleep, you do not need to turn her back over onto her back.

How Champions is spreading the message

At Champions, we aim to spread the Safe Sleep message to all of our families. That’s why all of our staff members go through “Safe Baby” training to learn the best practices to keep babies safe. Here’s a message from our Safe Baby Trainer, Ernesto Sierra:

“As a Safe Baby trainer, I know that one of the most important messages I can promote is the safe sleep message. Our ultimate goal is always to reduce the number of preventable infant deaths and you can do this in large part by simply remembering your ABC’s! Alone. Back. Crib. Snuggling with your little one may seem appealing, or perhaps easier at times but just remember that the most important consideration should always be your child’s safety.

All infant deaths are tragic, however, I find that the ones that could have been easily prevented are the most tragic of all. Be an advocate in your home, your community, and in the world promoting a safe sleep message for caregivers new and old! It’s as simple as remembering your ABC’s. Alone. Back. Crib.

P.S. Did you know that the risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is reduced by 50% by simply placing your infant on their back to sleep? Keep safe and keep promoting the safe sleep message! 🙂”

Remember, always consult with your health care provider to figure out what’s best for you and your family. It is our goal and responsibility to educate parents and caregivers on what the current recommendations are for safe sleeping. We want to provide you with information for you to be able to make educated decisions for you and your family.

Links to resources:
Safe Baby Program at Healthy Start
FDA – Consumer Updates – Sleep Positioners
CDC – Helping Babies Sleep Safely
CDC – Creating a Safe Sleep Space for Babies
Infant Safe Sleep Basics
SIDS & SUIDS – Real Life Stories