Safe Sleep

Child Health Advocacy and Kids' Safety

Safe Sleep

Safe Kids: Safe to Sleep

There are simple things you can do to help keep your baby safe while he or she is sleeping. Check out the ABCs and the Do's and Don'ts below to help keep your baby safe.

ABCs of Sleeping Babies

Follow these simple "ABCs of safe sleep for babies" for guidance:

A: Alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommend that the baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing, not bed-sharing).

American Family Children's Hospital Safety Center: Two parents and a child in a cribB: Back. Unless otherwise instructed by a pediatrician, an infant should always sleep on his or her back.

C: Crib. Railings should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. The mattress should be firm and covered with a tight, fitted sheet, and the crib should be clutter free (no blankets, bumper pads, stuffed animals, toys, etc.)

Do's and Don'ts of Safe Sleep


  • Lay your baby on their back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Use a safe crib with a firm, tight-fitting mattress covered with a crib sheet and nothing else in it
  • To keep your baby warm, use a sleep sack (wearable blanket)
  • Use a tight-fitting, firm mattress with a fitted crib sheet


  • Smoke, drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy or after the baby is born
  • Put your baby to sleep on beds, sofas, recliners, chairs, soft surfaces, bouncy chairs, baby swings or car seats
  • Use pillows, loose sheets or blankets, stuffed toys, crib bumpers, sleep positioners and other soft bedding products
  • Put your baby to sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you or anyone else

Resources for Parents/Caregivers

Resources for Educators

Dane County Safe Sleep Initiative

Sleeping babyDespite a major decrease in the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its recommendation in 1992 that infants be placed for sleep on their back, this decline has plateaued in recent years. Our local Child Death Review and Fetal Infant Mortality Review have identified concerns with unsafe sleep in Dane County. Because of this, we felt it was time to all come together to develop a county-wide safe sleep message to educate families on suffocation prevention.

Sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) are related to biological, environmental, and behavioral factors acting together or separately. We will focus on the factors related to environment (e.g., soft bedding and cigarette smoke) and behavior (e.g., placing infant on their stomachs to sleep and co-sleeping) to educate the families in our communities on modifying these risk factors that can lead to an infant's death.

Our goal is to develop an evidence-based, clear, consistent county-wide safe sleep message to be used by all.

Our initial meetings were held in October and January, with an upcoming meeting in March. If this is something your organization would like more information on, or would like to get involved with, please contact Nicole Vesely at

Crib Resources in Dane County

  • Pregnancy Helpline Safe Sleep Program: Pregnancy Helpline is committed to making sure all babies in the Madison area have a safe place to sleep. They deliver brand new pack-n-plays free of charge to clients' homes. Call their Helpline number to request a contract and to arrange for delivery: (608) 222-0008.
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul: 2033 Fish Hatchery Rd., Madison, WI 53713. Call (608) 442-7200, ext. 441, Monday through Friday, 9am-3:30pm for an interview. New portable cribs are made available to low-income Dane County households.

Safe Sleep Training

If you would like more resources on safe sleep, or would be interested in having a safe sleep educator come into your organization to talk about safe sleep, please contact Rishelle Englebreson at