Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), also known as sudden unexpected death in infancy is a term used to describe any sudden and unexpected death, whether explained or unexplained, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and ill-defined deaths that occur during infancy. SIDS is a subcategory of SUID and is a cause assigned to infant deaths that cannot be explained after a thorough case investigation. (Source: American Academy of Pediatrics).

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), which includes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is the leading cause of injury death in infancy. Sleep can be a big challenge for families with babies but following safe sleep recommendations can prevent many SUID fatalities.


To create a Safe Sleep Environment:

  • Keep baby in your room close to your bed, but on a separate sleep surface designed for infants.
  • Use a firm and flat sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib*, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or on a chair alone, with you or with anyone else.
  • Do not smoke or let anyone else smoke around your baby.
  • Do not put pillows, blankets, sheepskins or crib bumpers anywhere in your baby’s sleep area.
  • Keep soft objects, toys and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area. Make sure nothing covers the baby’s head.
  • Dress your baby in sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket. Do not use a loose blanket, and do not over-bundle.
  • Make sure baby’s head and face stay uncovered during sleep
  • Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.

*A crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard that follows the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended.


For information on crib safety, contact the CPSC at (800) 638-2772 or

To learn more about safe sleep, download the informative Safe Sleep guide in English or Spanish, courtesy of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services.