Although the risk of sudden infant
death syndrome (SIDS) is much reduced after 6 months, it's still a good idea to put your baby
to sleep on her back. Just don't be surprised if she doesn't stay there. These days she's likely to roll around at night, and she's also much better at getting her head free of the bed to breathe well.
Follow these guidelines to continue promoting safe sleeping:
- Keep fluffy bedding, pillows, and stuffed animals out of your baby's crib.
- Keep breastfeeding.
- Don't overdress your infant or overheat her sleeping area.
- Don't allow smoking in your baby's room or anywhere near her.
Are you sure your baby's crib is safe? If you bought it new, you don't have to worry — all of today's cribs have to meet federal safety guidelines. But cribs made before 1985 may have slats that are too far apart (more than 2 and 3/8 inches) and could trap your baby's head. And cribs with leaded paint (which is very common in cribs finished before 1972) should be stripped and repainted with a sturdy enamel. Be sure your baby's mattress is clean and firm and fits the bed tightly. The bedding should fit the mattress closely, too.
Get a helpful crib diagram and specific safety guidelines.