Know Your ABCs: A Guide to Safe Sleep for Infants!

Know Your ABCs: A Guide to Safe Sleep for Infants!

By Lannie Douglas, Nursing Assistant and Safe Sleep Counselor

Knowing your ABCs can do more than help you through school, it can help save your baby’s life! Sadly, approximately 100 infants die of SIDS every year in Louisiana, and almost all of these deaths are preventable.

What is SIDS? 

SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that typically occurs while a baby is asleep and is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age. Most SIDS deaths happen before 6 months old, and a baby’s sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of death.

One of my roles at Woman’s is to talk to patients about safe sleep and to ensure they have a safe place for their baby to sleep. I use the ABCs when explaining the basics to patients:

When putting a baby to sleep, make sure he or she is:

  • Alone
  • On his or her Back
  • In a Crib

It’s important to note there should be nothing else in the crib with your baby, such as blankets, stuffed animals, toys, bumper pads, or pillows, because these create a risk for suffocation. Infants exposed to smoking also have a higher risk of SIDS, so it’s best to avoid smoking around your baby and avoid exposing them to smoke as much as possible.

This message is NOT only for expecting and new parents. ANYONE who will be caring for an infant should know and follow safe sleep guidelines. Recommendations were different when previous generations were parenting, so grandparents or older relatives especially may not know the latest information when it comes to best practices for sleeping babies.

Find more information and a full safe sleep checklist from the Louisiana Department of Health at

Learn more about how Woman’s is aiming to reduce the rate of SIDS of Louisiana.