SATURDAY, Nov. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There are a number of things you should do to keep your baby safe while sleeping, an expert says.
Always place the baby on his or her back to sleep, including naps, and always on a flat, firm surface, said Dr. Mary Jones, child advocacy director for the Loyola University Health System pediatric team.
Babies should always sleep in their own bed, whether it is in the parents' room or a separate room, she said. Never have a baby sleep in the same bed as other people.
It's also important to prevent the baby from getting too hot while sleeping. Use a blanket sleeper or a second layer of clothing instead of a blanket, Jones suggested.
Parents should also keep the baby's crib free of toys, blankets, positioners and bumpers.
"Despite the progress we've made, some surveys show as many as half of parents do not put infants to sleep on their backs," Jones said in a Loyola news release.
"It's important for physicians to take the time to emphasize safe sleeping, and parents shouldn't be afraid to ask their baby's doctor if they have questions about the recommendations. Safe sleep for babies saves lives," she said.
Other tips include keeping the baby's vaccinations up to date, never smoking in a baby's room or home, and supervising tummy time when the baby is awake.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about babies and sleep.