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What’s in the Licensing Rules for Safe Sleep Practices?
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Sleep Surface: What are the Licensing Requirements?


  • Each infant shall sleep in a crib, portable crib, bassinet or playpen with a clean, non-absorbent mattress.
  • Bassinets may only be used until the infant is able to roll over on their own.
  • All cribs, portable cribs, bassinets and playpens must comply with current Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards.
  • Each mattress shall fit snugly and be covered by a tight fitting sheet.


  • The required sleep options are surfaces that allow an infant to lay completely flat on their back, which is the required position for infants to be placed to sleep.
  • The required sleep equipment can also protect infants from harm as other children in the child care setting energetically engage in their own play.
  • A mattress that is snug and tight can prevent an infant’s head, hands or feet from being caught in between the crib and the mattress.
  • A tight fitting sheet will not become detached when an infant moves along the surface while sleeping. A loose sheet could become entangled around the infant’s body and/or face causing suffocation.

Additional Guidance:

  • Always follow the weight limit on bassinets.
  • If you can fit a can of soda, standing up, between the slats of a crib, it means that a child’s head, hand or foot could get stuck[i].
  • Over time, crib sheets may stretch out after repeated washings. Have extra unused/new sheets in case you discover that your current supply is no longer tight fitting so that you are always prepared to prevent risks.
  • If you can fit two fingers side by side in between the mattress and the crib, the mattress is not snug fitting. [ii]
  • The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent federal regulatory agency that assists with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injuries associated with consumer products. For more information on crib safety guidelines see Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):

[i] Safe Kids Worldwide; Sleep Safety Tips; 2016

[ii] Stepping stones to using caring for our children: National health and safety performance standards guidelines for out-of-home child care programs (3rd ed.). (2012). Aurora, CO: National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care. Standard through