Intermountain Health Gives Safe Sleep Strategies for Babies to Help Reduce the Risk of SIDS

Senecca Elsworth, RN, is a maternity nurse at Intermountain Utah Valley Hospital

(PRUnderground) January 25th, 2024

New parents often are worried about their baby’s safety and the risk of SIDS. But experts from Intermountain Health say parents can reduce the risk of SIDS by what they choose for their baby’s sleep environment.

“The cause of SIDS is unknown, but research shows there are contributing factors,” said Senecca Elsworth, a maternity nurse at Intermountain Utah Valley Hospital. “Soft surfaces, such as a couch, fluffy blanket or pillow, can block an infant’s airway. Overheating also can increase a baby’s risk of SIDS, so don’t overdress baby for the temperature in the bedroom.”

Parents should always place a baby on his or her back to sleep to help reduce the risk of SIDS. Tummy time should be saved for playtime when a parent or caretaker can engage with baby.”

Elsworth said it’s best to let baby fall asleep on their own in a separate space to keep them safe. “If baby looks tired, get them swaddled and into their crib or bassinet so they can learn to soothe themselves and fall asleep on their own, so parents can get some sleep too.”

Bed-sharing with a newborn is not recommended. If a parent falls asleep or becomes distracted, a baby may suffocate when sharing a bed with a parent.

Be careful when carrying baby in a baby sling close to the body. Make sure their mouth and nose are not blocked.

Safe Sleep Strategies to Reduce the Risks for SIDS

  1. Place babies on their backs to sleep – studies show it’s safer.
  2. Never bed-share.
  3. Room-share until 6 months of age. Place baby’s crib in the same room where parents sleep. This can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.
  4. Use a firm mattress, covered with a fitted sheet, that fits snugly inside the crib.
  5. Remove loose bedding and soft objects from the crib.
  6. Do not overdress baby for bedtime. Babies are comfortable at the same temperature as siblings and parents.
  7. Do not use car seats, swings or strollers as beds for infants under the age of four months for routine sleep.
  8. Never smoke, drink, or use illicit drugs around an infant.

For more information, visit

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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