This holiday season, we encourage all families to practice safe sleep. New sleeping environments and colder temperatures can increase a baby’s risk of sleep-related death. Babies sleep safest Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib.

When visiting relatives or friends this Christmas, we recommend traveling with a portable crib. Many homes lack safe sleeping spaces for babies, and sleeping in a bed with a baby or placing a baby on a couch for sleep greatly increases his or her risk of a sleep-related death. Co-bedding, or sleeping with another person, accounted for more than half of all sleep-related deaths in Hamilton County over the past five years.

As well, frigid temperatures may lead parents to wrap their babies in bulky blankets or layer on clothing. However, babies can accidentally suffocate from loose blankets or overheat under multiple layers.

Families can take the following steps to keep their baby warm and safe this holiday season:

  • Baby should have his or her own sleep space. Bring a safety-approved portable crib, Pack n Play, or bassinet with you on your travels. Babies should never sleep with another person.
  • Place baby on his or her back for every sleep. The risk of sleep-related death increases when infants are placed in new sleep positions (i.e. stomach or back).
  • Don’t overheat your baby. Dress your baby in a wearable sleeper or one-piece pajama instead of blankets. Wearable sleepers can be layered over an undershirt or onesie.
  • Keep baby’s room at a comfortable temperature, usually between 68° and 72°F.
  • Don’t smoke around your baby. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Qualifying families can receive a free Pack n Play through the Cincinnati Health Department by calling 211.


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