Every week in Ohio, 3 babies die in unsafe sleep environments. These deaths don’t have to happen!

Follow the ABCs of safe sleep – Alone. Back. Crib. Every baby, every sleep!


Share the room, not the bed! 2 out of 3 babies who died while sleeping were sharing an adult bed, couch or chair.

Parents or caregivers should never nap on a couch or chair while holding their baby. Always make sure your child is placed in a crib or play yard with a firm mattress.

The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed. Place the baby’s crib or bassinet near your bed (within arm’s reach). This makes it easier to breastfeed and bond with your baby. 

There is no proven safe way to share the bed with your child because:

  • You can accidentally roll too close to or onto baby while they sleep.

  • Your baby can become covered by a bedspread or blanket and suffocate.

  • Babies can get trapped between the mattress and the wall, headboard, footboard or other piece of furniture.

  • Your baby could fall from the bed and get hurt or fall into a pile of clothing or other soft items on the floor and suffocate.


There are many myths surrounding babies sleeping on their backs; however, science has proven that back is best for baby. Some commonly asked questions regarding these myths are:

Isn’t it easier for my baby to choke on her back? 
No! Babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to suffocate or choke. 

My baby isn’t comfortable and doesn’t sleep as well on her back.
Babies do sleep deeper on their stomachs, but it's safer for baby to wake through the night. When babies sleep deeper, they don't wake up as often. When a baby is in a deep sleep and needs to take a deep breath or wake up her airway may be blocked by the mattress or loose bedding or covered in some other way, so she will be at more risk for suffocation. Back sleeping is safest for your baby!

If I put my baby on her back, she’ll get a flat head.
For the most part, flat spots on a baby’s head go away a few months after the baby learns to sit up. There are other ways to reduce the chance that flat spots will develop on your baby’s head, such as providing "tummy time" when your baby is awake and someone is watching. "Tummy time" not only helps prevent flat spots, but it also helps a baby’s head, neck, and shoulder muscles get stronger.

How long should my baby sleep on her back?
Once your baby can roll from back to belly on their own, it's ok to leave her in the position she finds most comfortable. Remember to put your baby to sleep on her back for the first year.

Remember these ways to keep baby safest:

  • Don’t cover baby's head with a blanket or over bundle in clothing and blankets.
  • Avoid letting the baby get too hot. The baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing.
  • Dress the baby lightly for sleep. Set the room temperature between 68 to 72 degrees.


An empty crib is best. Many parents believe baby won’t be warm or comfortable without bumper pads, blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals, but these items can be deadly. Babies can suffocate on or be strangled by any extra item in the crib.

This is how to keep baby safe:

  • Place your baby on a firm mattress, covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards.

  • Bumper pads and sleep positioning wedges should not be placed in the crib with the baby.

  • Don’t use loose bedding, such as comforters and blankets.

  • Sleep clothing, such as fitted, appropriate-sized sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets are safer for baby than blankets!

  • Don’t place babies to sleep on adult beds, chairs, sofas, waterbeds, air mattresses, pillows, or cushions.

  • Toys and other soft bedding, including fluffy blankets, comforters, pillows and stuffed animals should not be placed in the crib with the baby. These items can suffocate baby if they are close to his face.

  • Place baby's crib in your room - you can respond to his needs and then return him to his crib to sleep.

Won’t my baby hurt herself between the slats of the crib if there are no bumpers?
There have been no cases of babies who have seriously hurt themselves by getting stuck between the crib railings. Babies aren’t capable of exerting enough force to break an arm or leg between the crib slats. Consider the option of a baby waking up because her hand or foot may be caught. She will cry and wake you, but she will be alive and breathing.

The above information was obtained from the Ohio Department of Health.  

Please follow this link to learn more about safe sleep!


FREE Safe Sleep Resources

Cribs for Kids is a program to help families get a crib for FREE!  To receive a FREE crib the family must meet the following requirements:
          1. Must be WIC (Woman Infants and Children) eligible
          2. Family must need a safe place for their baby to sleep
          3. The infant is less than 30 days old
          4. Mother is at least 32 weeks pregnant

If you are, or know someone who is interested in the Cribs for Kids program please contact our friends at Highland County Community Action 1(937) 393-3060 or toll free at 1(800)243-7703.


Our friends at R.E.A.C.H. for Tomorrow have partnered with the Baby Box Company to help provide all expectant parents/caregivers in Ohio with a FREE Baby Box!

A Baby Box is a safe sleep environment for infants that is portable and convenient!

Follow the link to R.E.A.C.H.'s website for instructions on how to get yours or call R.E.A.C.H. at 1-877-99REACH.