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Safe Sleep

ABCs of Safe Sleep (English)

Sleep-related infant deaths are still a major problem in Alabama. In 2020, 404 babies tragically died before their first birthday. Of those deaths, 61 were officially ruled sleep-related with the cause of death listed as either “sudden infant death syndrome” (SIDS) or “accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed.” An additional 41 deaths were listed as “undetermined,” although many of those deaths occurred while the baby was sleeping.

Some of these deaths are preventable. There are risk factors that caregivers can control to lower their baby's risk of dying while sleeping.

ABCs of Sleeping Babies

What is the safest way for your baby to sleep? Babies sleep safest when... they sleep alone on their back in an uncluttered crib or another safe sleep surface. Follow these simple "ABCs of Sleeping Babies" for guidance:


  • We, along with 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 without bed-sharing).


  • Unless otherwise instructed by a pediatrician, an infant should always sleep on its back, on a firm, flat surface.
  • An infant sleeping on its side or stomach faces an increased risk of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID).
  • Infants should sleep without the aid of wedges and cushions.


  • Railings should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart - tight enough that a soda can will not fit through them.
  • The mattress should be firm, flat, and covered with a tight, fitted sheet.
  • Keep your baby's crib clutter-free - no blankets, pillows, bumper pads, stuffed animals, etc.
  • Waterbeds, futons, recliners, and sofas are not acceptable substitutes for a crib.

Safe Sleep Posters


SIDS Awareness Month (Crib)Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month, a time to share the importance of creating safe sleep environments for infants. Research shows that unsafe sleep areas, such as those that include non-fitted sheets, blankets, or stuffed toys, remain a leading cause of infant death. Visit the CDC to learn more about setting up a safe sleeping space for infants.

Safe Sleep for Your Baby

The following video was produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health as part of the "Safe to Sleep" campaign.

For more information on preventing infant sleep-related deaths, please view the following sites: CDC-Sudden Infant Death (SUID), Updated 2022 AAP Recommendations, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and First Candle.

Safe Sleep 2019

This safe sleep video was produced by Children's of Alabama and UAB Medicine.

Alabama Cribs for Kids

Alabama has partnered with the national Cribs for Kids Program and is dedicated to "Helping every baby sleep safer." Funding from the federal Maternal and Child Health Services Title V Block Grant has allowed Alabama to purchase a limited number of play yards for families who meet qualifications and need a safe sleep environment for their infants under one year of age. Cribs are provided through referrals from partner agencies. The referral form as well as the other required forms are below.

Forms that are required to be completed and returned by the referring agency:

For initial referral, the following four forms are required:

For follow-up with the family, after the cribs are received, these two short surveys are required:

Visit Crib for Kids for additional information on the program.

We are excited to have this new video for grandparents and other trusted caregivers from the Safe to Sleep campaign

Alabama Collaborative on Safe Sleep

The Collaborative has produced a Position Statement providing valuable information about safe sleep issues and providing contact information for resources. The Collaborative has also developed a Step-by-Step Blueprint for the use of providers who are working to make the sleep environments in their facilities safer for infants.

Page last updated: March 23, 2023