2020 SIDS Awareness Month #SafeSleepSnap Digital Toolkit

Baby lying on their back on a mattress with a fitted sheet in a crib.In recognition of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month, the #SafeSleepSnap activity encourages safe infant sleep advocates and infant caregivers to come together on social media to share safe infant sleep images and messages, help normalize safe sleep practices, and celebrate the role that all caregivers have in keeping baby safe during every sleep.

This digital toolkit offers resources and guidance to help you or your organization plan and participate in #SafeSleepSnap during SIDS Awareness Month. In addition to raising awareness about safe infant sleep, we hope you will have fun with #SafeSleepSnap, so be creative! Feel free to tailor the sample materials to meet your organization’s tone, messaging needs, and audience engagement goals.



October 26 through October 29, Facebook Live
Celebrate safe infant sleep with Charlie's Kids, Cribs for Kids®, First Candle, and NICHD in recognition of SIDS Awareness Month.
Learn more.

In this toolkit, you’ll find:

Please refer to this digital toolkit as often as you need before, during, and after SIDS Awareness Month. If you have any questions that are not answered by this toolkit, please contact nichdSafetoSleep@mail.nih.gov.

For more information on the toolkit contents and how to use it, check out the presentation from our latest webinar, 2020 SIDS Awareness Month Activities Refresher Webinar (PDF 3.3 MB).

You can also watch the recording of the initial SIDS Awareness Month 2020 Activities
external link, from June, for an in-depth walkthrough of the #SafeSleepSnap activity, including social media best practices, how-to examples from last year’s activity, and an overview of this year’s Social Media Block Party.

Thank you for supporting #SafeSleepSnap. We look forward to seeing your photos on social media!

How to Participate

Woman sitting on bed looking at a laptop with two babies in individual basinets next to the bed.Parents and caregivers are encouraged to have fun and be creative with this activity.

It’s easy! Just post a photo of a baby in a safe sleep area or of baby and caregiver(s) next to a safe sleep area on your own social media accounts, using the #SafeSleepSnap hashtag.

Parents and caregivers can show other family members in their photos as well, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and child care providers (nannies and babysitters).

Childcare service providers and organizations can join the fun by promoting this activity on their social media channels and asking their audiences to participate.

For a quick guide on how to participate, be sure to use our Before-You-Post Checklist.

Weekly Themes (NEW!)

Each week in October, we will focus our messaging on one action to help reduce the risk of SIDS.

We encourage you to participate in each weekly theme to help us spread the word about key safe infant sleep practices. See the Sample Posts and Language sections for suggested messages to post each week.

Baby in a sleep sack lying on their back on a mattress with a fitted sheet in a crib.

Week 1 (October 4–10)

Always place baby on his or her back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Baby lying on their back a mattress with a fitted sheet in a crib.

Week 2 (October 11–17)

Use a firm and flat mattress in a safety-approved crib,* free of soft and loose bedding, such as bumpers, stuffed animals and blankets.


*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, visit https://www.cpsc.gov or contact CPSC at 1-800-638-2772.

Woman lying on a bed holding her baby’s hand. The baby is lying on his back in a crib with a mattress and fitted sheet next the woman’s bed.

Week 3 (October 18–24)

Share your room with baby. Keep baby close to your bed but on a separate surface, for example, in their own crib or bassinet.

Woman lying on her side on an adult bed with no pillows or loose blankets breastfeeding her baby.

Week 4 (October 25–31)

Breastfeed to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Sample Social Media Posts

Baby lying on their back a mattress with a fitted sheet in a crib.Posting the right message with a supporting image is key to spreading the word about safe infant sleep on social media.

You can use the following social media posts to encourage participation and to highlight images of infants sleeping safely.

You can tailor the sample social media posts to speak to your community. Don’t forget to be creative! For example, including emojis is a great, fun way to capture attention.

If you do tailor the posts, be sure to always include #SafeSleepSnap to help spread the word about safe sleep for babies.

A Note About Hashtags (#): In addition to using #SafeSleepSnap, be sure to include hashtags that are most relevant for your community. The following hashtags were selected because of their relevance and their popularity across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Facebook: #SafeSleep, #InfantSafety, #SafeInfantSleep, #NewParents, #NewDad, #NewMom, #PreppingForBaby, #NewGrandma, #NewGrandpa, #NewGrandparent, #InfantCaregiver, #newborn, #NewBaby, #MomLife, #DadLife, #SleepTraining, #BackIsBest, #postpartum
  • Instagram: #BabySleepTips, #NewbornSleep, #FirstTimeParent, #NewMomTips, #FirstTimeMama, #FirstTimeDad, #DadsOfInsta, #SleepTraining, #BabySleepHelp, #InfantSleep, #MotherToBe, #ExpectingMom, #FatherToBe, #NewParent, #NewMommy, #NewDaddy, #DadSquad, #NewDad, #NewMom, #NewGrandma, #MomLife, #DadLife, #BackIsBest, #RoomSharing, #postpartum #InfantSafety
  • Twitter: #NewBaby, #NewDad, #NewMom, #NewGrandma, #NewGrandpa, #NewGrandparent, #newborn, #SleepTraining, #MomLife, #DadLife, #BabySleep, #BackIsBest, #RoomSharing, #postpartum

Flyer (New!), Graphics, and Expanded Photo Gallery

Baby lying on their back a mattress with a fitted sheet in a crib.Share these downloadable graphics and photos on social media and beyond.

In addition, you can print out the promotional flyer and hand it out at events or hang it up on bulletin boards.

Sample Email and Other Language

Baby lying on their back a mattress with a fitted sheet in a crib.Copy and paste this sample email and other language to share across your different communication channels (i.e., listservs, e-newsletters, and webpages).

How to Handle Unsafe Sleep Images

It is likely that you will receive submissions or be tagged in images that show an unsafe sleep area or do not follow safe infant sleep guidelines. Though we don’t recommend posting or sharing those photos, they offer a good teaching opportunity.

You may want to email or direct message the person to respectfully remind them what a safe infant sleep area looks like.

There are a few options for engaging the poster about safe infant sleep do’s:

  1. Send a direct message to the account that posted the image, gently note why the image doesn’t show safe sleep, and offer both tips for addressing the risks and links to resources to learn more.
  2. Leave a comment on the post that kindly explains why the area is unsafe and offers suggestions for how to make it safe for infant sleep.

Remember, it is important to offer helpful, kind, and non-accusatory feedback. We are here to be safety resources, not to judge. To help, we provided draft language to respond to unsafe sleep messages. Feel free to use as a direct message/email (recommended) or a comment on the post.

  • Short social media message/post: Thank you for your #SafeSleepSnap post! We noticed the photo doesn’t follow all of the AAP safe infant sleep guidelines. We invite you to check out this link and consider reposting to help us spread the word about safe infant sleep: http://bit.ly/2WDRkk0
  • Long social media message/post: Thank you for your #SafeSleepSnap post. We’re reaching out because we noticed that your photo doesn’t follow all of the AAP safe infant sleep guidelines. Here’s a checklist to help you set up a safe infant sleep area http://bit.ly/2WDRkk0. We appreciate your efforts and want others to see your baby sleeping safely, so we hope you’ll consider reposting a photo that follows the safe infant sleep guidelines. If you have any questions, please let us know!
  • Draft email message:

    Dear [Participant’s Name]:

    Thank you for your #SafeSleepSnap post of your adorable little one! We appreciate your efforts to spread the word about safe infant sleep. Unfortunately, your picture does not meet all of the recommendations for safe infant sleep.

    According to the latest safe infant sleep guidelines external link from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a safe sleep area is a firm, flat mattress in a crib, bassinet, or play yard, free of soft and loose items, such as toys and blankets. Babies should also always sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

    We invite you to review this safe sleep flyer for details on how to create a safe infant sleep area.

    We encourage you to take new pictures of baby in a safe sleep area and post them to your social media accounts. Be sure to use #SafeSleepSnap in your posts!

    Baby sleeping on her back on top of a fitted  sheet with bees on it, with the words “Bee more Safe to Sleep” #SafeSleepSnap,  an image of a camera, the Safe to Sleep logo, the HHS logo, and the NICHD logo.

    Thank you again for your participation in the #SafeSleepSnap. Please let us know if you have any questions.


    [Add signature and name of participating organization(s)]

Before-You-Post Checklist (NEW!)

Thank you for participating in #SafeSleepSnap! Use this checklist before you post to make sure your photo and message are ready to go.


Baby lying on their back a mattress with a fitted sheet in a crib.To help ensure your photo follows expert guidance, please make sure your photos show the following before posting:

  • Check whether the crib is approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • ☐ Baby should be lying on his or her back.
  • ☐ Make sure your baby’s sleep space is completely free of clutter—no blankets, pillows, crib bumpers, pets, other children, or stuffed animals—only a fitted sheet on a firm, flat mattress.
  • ☐ Baby can be asleep or awake on his or her back in the photo.
  • ☐ Remove any products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • ☐ Baby should not be wearing any loose items such as a hat or bow.
  • ☐ If baby has a pacifier, it should not be clipped to baby’s clothing or attached to anything such as a string, toy, or lovey.
  • ☐ Have fun and be creative with your photos and posts!


Twitter post from the American Academy of Pediatrics saying, “October is #SIDSAwarenessMonth. The ABCs – placing baby Alone, on her Back, in a bare Crib – help create a safe sleep environment. Share a picture of your baby, grandchild, or nice/nephew in a safe sleep environment using #SafeSleepSnap! Learn more: healthychildren.org/safesleep” with an image of a baby lying on their back a mattress with a fitted sheet in a crib.In addition to posting your photo, we encourage you to post a safe infant sleep message to help spread the word about safe infant sleep during SIDS Awareness Month.

  • ☐ Remember to use #SafeSleepSnap and any other parenting hashtags you follow or use on social media.
  • ☐ If you are posting on Facebook and want your post to be reshared, consider making your post public. Doing so will allow others to see your post.
  • ☐ If you are posting on Twitter or Instagram and want your photo to be seen by others using and following #SafeSleepSnap, consider making your account public.


  • A Twitter post from Kids Considered Podcast saying, #safesleepsnap for #babies means #parents can #sleep well. Listen to our #podcast on #baby #sleeping at bit.ly/2SniHP8 for more info. Thanks @AmerAcadPeds for great info! #SIDSAwarenessMonth with an image of a baby lying on their back a mattress with a fitted sheet in a crib.☐ Show your support by reposting/retweeting #SafeSleepSnap posts from others!
  • ☐ Comment on #SafeSleepSnap photos that follow the safe infant sleep guidelines.
  • ☐ Respond to questions and share links to credible resources for more information.


Additional Resources

2018 and 2019 #SafeSleepSnap Rewind

Each year, we fix, tweak, and update our #SafeSleepSnap resources to make the activity even more fun and engaging. Take a look at past years’ #SafeSleepSnap toolkits and posts to see how this social media activity has changed over time.

The #SafeSleepSnap activity was introduced in 2018 as a friendly, 2-week competition between National Institutes of Health (NIH) and CDC employees. It resulted in submissions of 44 photos of infants in safe sleep areas. The #SafeSleepSnap hashtag was used 45 times across social media in October 2018.

In 2019, NICHD and its collaborators expanded the #SafeSleepSnap activity to the public. Participants included advocates and organizations with an interest in safe infant sleep. This effort resulted in at least 80 consumer-submitted photos and more than 700 social media messages by at least 350 authors.

Check out these resources: