Skip to main content

October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is highlighting the importance of promoting infant safe sleep this October during Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month.

“It’s important that parents and caretakers in Michigan know how to put babies to sleep safely,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Safe sleep environments prevent unnecessary deaths, choking and suffocation.”

Babies from birth to age 1 can be safer while sleeping at night and during naps when American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines are followed.

Recommendations are to:

  • Place baby on their back, on a non-inclined sleep surface, such as a crib, bassinet or pack ‘n play, with no other people.
  • Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet.
  • Keep baby’s sleep space clutter-free without pillows, blankets or toys.
  • Avoid covering baby’s head or overheating baby. Instead of a blanket, use a sleep sack, wearable blanket or footed sleeper to keep baby warm.
  • Keep baby in a smoke-free environment.
  • Support breastfeeding and immunizations.

From 2009-2019, 1,436 babies died in Michigan from sleep-related deaths. In 2019 alone, 149 babies died due to unsafe sleep environments.

MDHHS is working to help prevent future sleep-related deaths through a new, collaborative program between the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Trauma, and Preparedness, EMS for Children Program and the Division of Maternal and Infant Health with support from the Children's Safety Network Learning Collaborative. The program is designed to support EMS agencies and fire departments in Michigan as they develop infant safe sleep programs and become Infant Safe Sleep Certified. The program supports the development of education plans, provider trainings, access to infant safe sleep resources, connections to local safe sleep experts and wraparound services for families.

“EMS and fire professionals are trusted sources of information and injury prevention recommendations for families and are a critical piece to help keep Michigan infants safe while sleeping,” said Dr. Samantha Mishra, MDHHS EMS for Children coordinator. “When they are trained on the infant safe sleep guidelines, they can identify unsafe sleep practices, provide on-scene education, share resources and connect families to local support.”

To learn more about infant safe sleep, visit and click Information for EMS Agencies and Fire Departments to learn more about the Infant Safe Sleep Certification Program for EMS agencies and fire departments.

To view data related to sleep-related infant deaths, visit

# # #