Safe Sleep

We all play a role in making sure all children are valued, healthy and thriving. It is important for all parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, neighbors and early childhood professionals to have the tools they need to practice the ABCs of safe sleepduring every nap, every night, and each time they care for a young child. 


The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed. Never nap on a couch or chair while holding your baby


Lay your baby down on his or her back. Lying on the back helps your baby to easily draw in air by keeping the mouth and nose free of obstructions. This position also helps your baby to easily swallow anything that is spit up or coughed up during sleep.


Always put your baby down to sleep on a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib, bassinet or play yard that has no blankets, bumpers or stuffed animals. Instead of using a blanket to keep your baby warm, dress her in an age- and size-appropriate sleeper or sleep sack-type pajamas.


Tips to Talk about Safe Sleep

Whether you are searching for a new child care provider, talking to your current provider or trying to share the latest safety guidelines with a new grandparent, it is important to discuss safe sleep.
Ask these questions to start a conversation on safe sleep:

  • May I see where my baby sleeps?
  • Have you completed any training on safe sleep? 
  • How is my baby positioned when they sleep?
  • Do you offer my baby a pacifier when he/she is being put down to sleep?
  • How often do you check on sleeping infants?
  • During tummy time, is someone making sure my baby’s eyes are open?
  • If my baby gets cold, do you use a blanket or change the temperature of the room?
  • May I see a copy of your safe sleep policies? 



More Safe Sleep Information

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics provides tips and guidelines to practice safe sleep. 
  • Learn more about steps you can take to create a safe sleep area for baby in a feature from Centers for Disease Control: Helping Babies Sleep Safely
  • The Safe Sleep Academy provides helpful tips for putting your baby to sleep safely, soothing fussy babies, and making your entire home a safe place for baby. 
  • Cribs for Kids® Partners in Colorado provide safe sleep education for parents and caregivers, and many provide portable cribs to those who qualify. Partners may have a different set of requirements for receiving portable crib and some partners only provide safe sleep education, but not cribs, however they may know of other programs that are available in your area that can assist you.
  • Colorado Shines strongly encourage parents of infants to review inspection reports of  licensed child care providers. If the provider has a sleep-related violation on their report, it is very important to ask the provider what steps they have taken to correct the problem. Visit  to search for a licensed child care provider, view their reports of inspection and learn more about the rules and requirements licensed child care providers must follow to make sure infants are safe. 
  • More information on safe sleep can also be found on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Children’s Hospital Colorado websites. 


The importance of safe sleep.

According to the Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System, sudden unexpected infant death takes the lives of around 50 children under the age of one year old in Colorado each year. One of the main causes for sudden unexpected infant death is accidental suffocation by infants sleeping in an unsafe environment. Research has shown that sudden unexpected infant death and other sleep-related deaths can be reduced by practicing the ABCs of safe sleep: placing infants on their backs, in a crib or on a safe sleeping surface, and alone without any soft objects or blankets.

Together, we can ensure Colorado reduces the number of preventable infant deaths through parent support programs, caregiver education and increased public awareness.