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Safe Sleep for Babies

About SUID and SIDS

SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death) is the death of an infant less than 1 year of age that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, and whose cause is not immediately obvious before investigation. SUID is a broad term that encompasses all sudden infant deaths. Most SUIDs are reported as one of three types.

  1. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  2. Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed
  3. Unknown cause

In Oregon, about 40 babies die in their sleep every year.


The most important thing you can do for your baby’s health is to quit smoking. For help, call the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line

Contact the Quit Line
1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)

Spanish Quit Line
1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335356-92)
TTY: 1-877-777-653

Safe Sleep_Crib_1.jpgBreastfeeding reduces your baby’s risk of SIDS.

To make sure your baby (birth to one year old) is as safe as possible:

  • Always put your baby to sleep on his/her back.
  • Make sure no one smokes around your baby.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Put your baby to sleep in the room where you sleep.
  • Remove soft fluffy bedding, pillows, stuffed toys and bumper pads from your baby’s sleep area.
  • Try a sleep sack instead of a blanket. Sew your own sleep sack: Baby Rudy's Safe and Easy Sleep Sack pattern and instructions (pdf)
  • Avoid placing your baby to sleep on soft things like couches or upholstered chairs, waterbeds, beanbag chairs, quilts or comforters.
  • Talk with grandparents and other caregivers about this safe sleep information.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. This helps to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you are breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is going well before offering a pacifier. This usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. It's OK if your baby doesn't want to use a pacifier. You can try offering again, but some babies don't like to use pacifiers. If your baby takes a pacifier and it falls out after he falls asleep, you don’t have to put it back in.
  • Use a firm sleep surface.
  • Avoid overheating and head covering.

Please talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have.

Some parents choose to sleep with their baby.
It can be unsafe to sleep with your baby if:

  • Your baby is less than 4 months old.
  • Your bed has pillows, quilts, or comforters.
  • You share the bed with pets or other children.
  • You are sleeping on a soft surface such as a waterbed, old mattress, sofa, couch or armchair.
  • You or your partner:
    • Smokes
    • Has taken drugs, alcohol, or medications that make you sleepy
    • Are very tired or suffer from extreme exhaustion.

Educational Resources

OHA Safe Sleep Brochure (pdf)
Spanish | Arabic | Vietnamese | Simplified Chinese | Russian

OHA Safe Sleep Poster - 11x17 (pdf)
Spanish version

SafeSleep for Oregon's Infants
Interactive online required training program from the Oregon Office of Child Care

Safe Sleep for Oregon’s Infants: A self-study training opportunity for family serving professionals

This safe sleep tool was created by the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division in partnership with family serving organizations.

2022 Oregon Safe Sleep Workgoup Report and Recommendations

Safe to Sleep

The Safe to Sleep campaign, formerly known as the Back to Sleep campaign, aims to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Safe to Sleep is an expansion of the original Back to Sleep campaign which started in 1994. Policy statements and educational materials are available at this website.

CDC Information about SUID and SIDS and CDC's efforts to standardize and improve data collected at infant death scenes and promote consistent reporting and classification of SUID cases. Includes data and statistics about SUID and SIDS.

National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep (NAPPSS)
NAPPSS-IIN is an initiative to make infant safe sleep and breastfeeding the national norm by aligning stakeholders to test safety bundles in multiple care settings to improve the likelihood that infant caregivers and families receive consistent, evidence-based instruction about safe sleep and breastfeeding.

American Academy of Pediatrics

Resources for Grief Support

The Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families
The mission of The Dougy Center for Grieving Children is to provide loving support in a safe place where children, teens and their families grieving a death can share their experiences as they move through their healing process.

Brief Encounters
Brief Encounters is a nonprofit, nonsectarian group for parents whose babies have died before, during, or after birth. Brief Encounters provides meetings in the greater Portland, Oregon area and local phone support. At informal, mutually supportive meetings, bereaved parents and their families share their stories, discuss issues that arise around pregnancy and infant loss, and remember their children. Through talking or just listening, we learn what grief is and how, through understanding and caring, we heal.

First Candle
First Candle is a national health organization that provides grief support services to help families through the difficult time after the loss of a baby. Grief counselors are available by phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call toll free at 1-800-221-7437. Bilingual crisis counselors are also available at the same toll free number.

Compassionate Friends
The Compassionate Friends is a national bereavement support organization for families who have suffered the death of a child. For information, call the National Office at 1-877-969-0010.


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  Baby near!