Safe Sleep for Infants

Infants from birth to three months typically sleep from 14 to 17 hours a day in a 24 hour period. Make each hour of sleep a safe one. Learn more from the SIDS Center of New Jersey.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a sudden death in the first 12 months of life that remains unexplained even after a thorough evaluation. It is one of the leading causes of infant mortality. Despite the absence of an explanation, we have learned how to reduce the risk of these deaths, as noted in the Updated 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations for Reducing Infant Deaths in the Sleep Environment, and supported in the technical report, Evidence Base for 2022 Updated American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment to Reduce the Risk of Sleep-Related Infant Deaths.

The same recommendations to reduce the risk of SIDS also reduce the risk of other sleep-related infant deaths termed accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed and ill-defined and unknown causes. All three form a grouping called Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). In association with risk reduction education, including by the national Safe to Sleep® Campaign and the SIDS Center of New Jersey, the SUID rate has declined. New Jersey's SUID rate has been among the lowest in the US.

The SIDS Center of New Jersey (SCNJ) provides risk reduction education for parents, grandparents, other care givers, health, child care, and social service agencies and providers, first responders, home visiting programs, faith-based communities and the general public. In addition to unsafe infant sleep practices, the risk of SUID is also increased by preterm birth, smoke exposure in pregnancy and beyond, poverty, late onset prenatal care, and circumstances that inhibit access to health care. Disparities in these conditions contribute to disparities in infant mortality rates. Therefore, the SCNJ also collaborates with public health programs that address adverse social and health disparities.

Further information can be accessed from the SIDS Center of New Jersey website and social media page SIDS Center of New Jersey Facebook and the NICHD Safe to Sleep® Campaign. The SCNJ operates under a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health to provide bereavement support, identify risk factors, and conduct public health education. 

Last Reviewed: 10/25/2023