Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.Learn More
Healthy sleep is important for your child’s physical, mental, and social health. There are simple ways to help your baby or toddler sleep safely.
The sleep surface should be firm and should not indent when your child lays on it. Avoid surfaces that incline or put your child at an angle.
Take toys, pillows, and blankets out of the crib for sleep. Your child’s mouth and nose could sink into these and make it hard for your child to breathe.
Your child’s sleep area can easily spread germs. It is important to clean all areas where your child spends time including cribs, play yards, car seats, and play mats.
Having your baby or toddler sleep with you is not safe. Research shows that co-sleeping or bed sharing is not a good idea because:
Your child needs a crib if they are:
Always use the side rails if your child sleeps in a crib. The rails should be up and locked as soon as you put your child in the crib. A child can climb out if you turn your back or walk away for just a second. Children, even babies, move fast! Keep the side rails up to keep your child from getting hurt.
Your child might be ready for a toddler bed or other bed if they are:
When your child is in the hospital, it is even more important for your child to sleep in their own crib or bed, no matter their age. Being in their hospital crib or bed:
Your care team will choose the best bed for your child at the hospital. It depends on how tall your child is, if they are potty trained, what type of crib or bed they use at home, and their specific medical needs.
Always follow your care team’s instructions for how to help your child sleep safely. Specific recommendations will depend on what is best for your child. Ask your child’s doctor or nurse if you have any questions about helping your child sleep. Every child is different, and your care team can help you find the best option.
Reviewed: September 2022