Updated AAP Guidelines on Safe Sleep for Prevention of SIDS


11. Infants should be immunized according to recommendations from the AAP andCDC. There is no evidence that immunizations can cause SIDS,24-27 and vaccination may even protect against SIDS.28-30

12. Be wary of commercial devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS, especially those that do not meet the recommendations for safe sleep in infants. These devices include wedges or devices that are meant to allow children to sleep in parents’ beds, or crib mattresses that disperse carbon dioxide in case an infant ends up sleeping on their stomach. As long as carbon dioxide dispersing mattresses meet the CPSC recommendations for infant beds, there is no harm in using them; but these devices do not make it any less important to follow AAP guidelines for safe sleep.

13. Do not use cardiorespiratory monitors at home in an attempt to reduce the risk of SIDS. There is no evidence that these devices reduce the risk of SIDS35-38 or detect infants at risk for SIDS.

14. When infants are awake, supervised “tummy time” is recommended. This is to avoid positional plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome).

15. There is no evidence that swaddling reduces the risk of SIDS. There is a high risk of SIDS if a swaddled infant is placed on its belly or rolls onto its belly. Swaddled infants should be placed onto their back, and swaddling should allow ample room in the hips and knees to prevent exacerbation of hip dysplasia. Arms can either be left in or out of swaddling depending on the infant’s preference or needs. When infants attempt to roll, they should no longer be swaddled.

16. These safe sleep recommendations should be endorsed and modeled by healthcare professionals, staff at newborn nurseries and NICUs, and child care providers.

17. Manufacturers and the media should follow and model safe sleep guidelines in their messaging and advertising.

18. The “Safe to Sleep” campaign should be continued, as well as promoted by pediatricians and primary care professionals.

19. Research should be continued on SIDS in an attempt to eliminate these deaths altogether.

See the next page for a full list of references.