3 Key Ways Dads Can Help Baby Sleep Safe
Photo: A smiling dad leans over to play with a baby.
Dads today spend triple the amount of time caring for their children than dads did 50 years ago.
Making sure dads with infants know how to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death is more important than ever.
Dads everywhere can keep baby safe during sleep in the following ways:
1. Always place baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.
This is the most effective way to reduce the risk of SIDS. Babies are less likely to choke if placed on their backs to sleep, even if they throw up or drool while sleeping.
Photos: Baby sleeping on back icon with photo of a dad placing a sleeping baby on its back in a crib.
2. Share your room with baby.
Keep baby in your room, close to your bed, but on a separate sleep surface designed for infants, ideally for baby's first year, but at least for the first 6 months. Baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
Photos: Icon shows a bed and crib in the same room; photo of a dad lifting a baby up and smiling.
3. Use a firm and flat sleep surface—such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib*— covered by a fitted sheet.
Remove all bumpers, blankets, loose bedding, and soft items from the sleep area. Do not use car seats, strollers, baby carriers, swings, or other sitting devices as baby's routine sleep area.
*A crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard that follows the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended. For information on crib safety, contact the CPSC at 1-800-638-2772 or http://www.cpsc.gov.
Photos: Crib icon with photo of a dad touching his baby while the baby is sleeping on its back in a crib.
Learn how dads and all caregivers can create a safe sleep environment for baby: http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov.
Graphic: Safe to Sleep® logo, links to https://www1.nichd.nih.gov/sts/Pages/default.aspx.
Sources: Parker, K. and Livingston, G. 6 facts about American fathers. Pew Research Center, 2017. Technical Report of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
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