Helping Baby “Back To Sleep”
National Sudden and Unexpected Infant/Child Death and Pregnancy Loss Resource Center
This document was initially developed and first published in May 2007 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (www.hhs.gov),
Health Resources and Services Administration (www.hrsa.gov), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (www.mchb.hrsa.gov) under a contract with the
National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)/Infant Death Resource Center operated by Circle Solutions, Inc., Contract No. NIHIDIQ-263-01-D-0208.
This update was produced by the National Sudden and Unexpected Infant/Child Death and Pregnancy Loss Resource Center, Georgetown University,
under a cooperative agreement (U48MC08717) with HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Additional copies may be ordered free of charge:
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Back to Sleep Campaign
recommend that babies under 1 year of age be placed on their backs to sleep in
order to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Since the start of the Back to Sleep Campaign in 1994, the number of babies
dying of SIDS has decreased by more than 50 percent. But many babies still
sleep on their tummies or sides, and babies are still dying of SIDS.
Why does back sleeping help lower the risk of SIDS?
z When babies sleep on their backs, it helps to keep their mouths and noses
unblocked so they breathe in clean, fresh air and do not overheat. This may be
why the risk is lowered.
z Remember that babies must be placed on their backs for EVERY sleep—at
nighttime and naptime.
z Placing babies to sleep on their sides is not as safe as their backs because they
are more likely to roll onto their tummies.
risk of SIDS is much
higher when babies
who are used to
sleeping only on their
backs are put to sleep
on their tummies for
the first time, such as in
child care or with a
We hope these tips will help baby (and you) rest better!
For more information contact: