Helping Your Baby Sleep Safely

Welcome to ISSP

The members of the Infant Safe Sleep Partnership (ISSP) work together to reduce sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) throughout the state by providing education and awareness to parents and healthcare providers.

The Infant Safe Sleep Partnership Wants You To Know

Sudden infant death (SUID) takes the lives of more than 50 babies in Colorado each year. One of the main causes for SUID is accidental suffocation from infant sleep in an unsafe environment, such as the couch or the parent's bed. The death rate by accidental suffocation in infants is increasing nationally.

A new study, published July 14, 21014 in the journal Pediatrics, shows that the risk factors that contribute to SIDS vary with a baby's age. The majority of infants in the study younger than 4 months-old who died while sleeping were bed sharing, whereas older infants who died were likelier to be found on their stomachs, or with blankets, stuffed animals or pillows around them, said study co-author Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, a pediatrician at Children's Mercy Hospital in Missouri.


box The natural disasters affecting Colorado have displaced thousands of people. The chaos of moving, especially unplanned moves, leads to unsafe sleep environments for newborn infants and increases the risk of accidental suffocation and sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), a problem that was increasing in Colorado even before the floods. So what can desperate parents do to keep their newborn safe? Put them to sleep IN A BOX!

For 75 years Finland's expectant mothers have been given a maternity box by the state. It's a cardboard box with baby products, and most importantly, the box itself can be used as a bed. It helped Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates.

During this emergency, its important to think of how to keep a newborn safe. Infant sleep in a box is safer than sleeping with a parent, a grandparent, or especially on a couch. It sounds crazy, but it works; and it could save a baby’s life! To make a box, use a clean corrugated cardboard box (available at moving or storage companies or at the post office). Keep the top open and DO NOT use pillows, loose blankets, egg crate/foam or sheep skin mattresses. These items increase suffocation risk. Instead, if a mattress is required (and it is not), cut a solid thin yoga mattress or closed cell foam mat to fit tightly at the bottom of the box. Sleep the infant in a onzie or a sleep sac with no loose blanket. ALWAYS put the infant on her back. No blankets, no hats, no items in the box.

- For More Information: ChildrensColorado


box A couple shows off their baby's nursery. Crib bumpers, pillows, and soft surfaces increase the risk of accidental suffocation.



Are These Parents Bonding or Putting their Baby at Risk?

box Bed-sharing has been shown to be a risk factor for SUID. How can parents cuddle and co-sleep safely? see Best Practices



The Infant Sleep Business

box Many parents will go to great lengths equipping their baby's nursery to provide a nice, cozy environment and help their baby get a good night's sleep - and businesses are well aware of this fact. Infant sleep is big business. But parents should be careful of the marketing hype of some popular products or they can unknowingly put their baby at risk.

“Most people don’t realize what they see in stores might suffocate a baby,” explained Dr. Ann Halbower of Childrens' Hospital Colorado. Babies are not developed enough to move out of a trapped position between pillows, blankets, or crib bumpers.”

box A sleep sack or bodysuit (aka bunting bag) are examples of safe sleep products that eliminate the risky use of a blanket.


September 2013

Children's Hospital producing a oublic service announcement regarding their Baby Box initiative.

January 2013

Members of ISSP have conducted focus group discussions with teen moms at various Colorado high school daycare centers. What we have learned so far: teen moms have heard advice and recommendations for infant safe sleep, but nearly all of them co-sleep with their babies. Reasons they gve: maternal instinct and feel the need to sleep with their baby to keep their baby safe.


  • Children’s Hospital Colorado Sleep Center