Frequently Asked Questions On Safe Sleeping

Q. Is there a risk of choking when my baby sleeps on his or her back?

A. No, babies automatically swallow or cough up fluids. Doctors have found no increase in choking or other problems in babies sleeping on their backs.

Q. What about side sleeping?
A. To keep your baby safest when he or she is sleeping, always use the back sleep position rather than the side position. Babies who sleep on their sides can roll onto their stomachs. A baby sleeping on his or her stomach is at greater risk of SIDS. Some infants may have health conditions that require them to sleep on their stomachs. If you are unsure about the best sleep
position for your baby, be sure to talk to your doctor or nurse.

Q. Are there times when my baby can be on his or her stomach?
A. Yes, place your baby on his or her stomach for “tummy time,” when he or she is awake and someone is watching. When the baby is awake, tummy time is good because it helps your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles get stronger.

Q. Can I bring my baby in bed with me to breastfeed?
A. Bringing your baby into bed could be risky for your baby. An adult bed usually has a soft
mattress and bedding such as comforters, quilts, and pillows. If you choose to bring your baby in bed with you to breastfeed, it is safest to return your baby to his or her crib. One way to keep your baby close to you is by having the baby’s crib in the room with you.

Q. Can my baby share a bed with her brother or sister?
A. Bed-sharing with other children, including brothers and sisters is unsafe for your baby. It
increases the risk for SIDS as well as suffocation. There have been reports of infants being suffocated from overlying by an adult, brother, sister, or other family member that was sharing a bed with an infant. 

Q. Will my baby get “flat spots” on his or her head from back sleeping?
A. For the most part, flat spots on the back of the baby’s head go away a few months after the baby learns to sit up. Tummy time, when your baby is awake, is one way to reduce flat spots. Another way is to change the direction you place your baby down to sleep. Doing this means the baby is not always sleeping on the same side of his or her head. If you think your baby has a more serious problem, talk to your doctor or nurse.

Source: U.S Department of Health and Human Services - Institute of Health