Babies, beginning at birth, should be put to sleep on firm, clutter-free mattresses. A bassinet, pack-n-play, or crib is great.
A sofa or adult mattress is too soft and increases the risk of suffocation. Babies should sleep face up, otherwise known as back-to-sleep, for each and every nap and at night. A baby should never sleep with an adult who is intoxicated or has taken sleeping medications, over-the-counter or otherwise.
In addition, eliminating exposure to tobacco smoke both before and after birth lowers the risk of SIDS. While co-sleeping with an adult is not recommended, room-sharing, where the baby sleeps on a separate firm surface from a parent, is recommended for the first year of life to decrease risk. Breastfeeding also appears to lower the infant’s risk of SIDS.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019