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Safe Sleep Spaces

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a firm, flat sleep surface for your baby. A crib, bassinet, or pack and play that follows the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended. The mattress should be covered by a tightly fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft items in the sleep area. If your baby falls asleep in an unsafe sleep space, they should be moved to a crib, bassinet, or pack and play as soon as possible.

Check the Safety of Your Crib, Bassinet or Pack and Play

  • Check CPSC's recall list to make sure that it has not been recalled.
  • Set it up according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Check it often to make sure all the hardware is secured tightly and that no parts are damaged, loose or missing.
  • Make sure the sheet isn't too tight. The sheet should not cause the edges of the mattress to curl or pull up. If you have difficulty finding a sheet that fits properly, contact the manufacturer.
  • Use the correct mattress and check its fit regularly.

Unsafe Sleep Spaces and Products

Many products may seem safe to use with your baby during naps or sleep times. However, some of these products, such as bumper pads, positioners, docks, loungers, and inclined seats, can be dangerous for sleep. These items may even be sold as a sleep space or recommended by other parents or health care providers, despite their risk for sleep-related death.

Ask the following questions to determine if a product is safe.  If you answer yes to any of the questions, the product is not safe for infant sleep. You can also watch the video “How do you know if products are safe for sleep?” to learn more.  

  • Has the product been recalled? 
    Check the CPSC recall list at
  • Does it have soft padded sides or a soft sleep surface? 
    Soft items such as bumper pads, crib liners, stuffed animals, or pillows can get in the way of baby’s breathing. 
  • Does it cause baby to sleep on an incline?  
    When sleeping on an incline, baby’s head can slump down and their airway can be pinched, causing trouble with their breathing. Also, babies can more easily roll over when sleeping on an incline–even if they haven’t done it before. If they roll, baby can suffocate.  
  • Does it have straps? 
     Straps can get caught around baby’s neck, causing strangulation. 
  • Is it weighted? 
    Items like a weighted sleep sack or weighted swaddle can be too heavy.  
  • Does the product information say that using the product makes it safe for baby to sleep on the stomach or side? 
    Babies are safest sleeping on their backs. 

Other questions to consider: 

  • Does the product information say that it prevents Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?
    No product has been approved to make this claim.  
  • Does it monitor a baby's vital signs? 
    Home heart rate and pulse oximetry (cardiorespiratory) monitors have not been proven to reduce the risk of SIDS or sleep‐related infant death. If home monitors are used, the safe sleep guidelines should still be followed.