Parents of the infants in your child care program may have concerns or misconceptions about safe sleep practices. You may also hear ideas or opinions around this topic that you haven’t thought of before. The following information as well as the 5 S’s, licensing safe sleep rules and why safe sleep practices are important may help you to address those concerns.
“Please put my baby to sleep on her stomach because she can roll over if needed.”
When infants can easily turn over from back to tummy and from tummy to back, they should still be placed to sleep on their back. After they are asleep, if they roll over, you do not need to put them on their backs again. Infants usually start to roll when they are four to six months old. This is also when the chance of SIDS decreases. However, make sure there are no blankets, pillows, bumper pads, or other items in the crib that the baby can roll against and suffocate.
While the risk of SIDS drops dramatically after four to six months, the risk does not go away completely until 12 months of age.
“My son sleeps on his side at home. Please have him side sleep when he is here too.”
If baby is a tummy or side sleeper, the risk for SIDS is much higher. The side position is just as dangerous as placing the baby on the tummy because they can accidentally roll to the tummy. If an infant is used to sleeping on their tummy or side at home, back sleeping in child care does not increase the risk of SIDS. However, babies who are used to sleeping on their backs and are then placed to sleep on their tummies in child care are 18 times more likely to die from SIDS