Extra Information for Families

Breastfeeding and Safe Sleep

Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mom and baby, including:

Impact on infant health: reduced risk of SIDS, infections, diseases, childhood cancer, diabetes, etc.

Impact on maternal health: reduced risk of breast/ovarian cancer, heart disease, diabetes, postpartum depression, etc.

However, there are risks for unsafe sleep involved while breastfeeding a baby. Breastfeeding is soothing for baby but also for Mom, because the baby is calm and quiet; therefore mom may fall asleep as well. Always encourage mothers to have a safe sleep environment for their baby near where they are breastfeeding. While breastfeeding, encourage mother to set a timer as a reminder to place baby in crib if she becomes drowsy.

Pacifiers may interfere with breastfeeding; therefore, a pacifier should be introduced once breastfeeding is well established. The AAP defines this as having sufficient milk supply; consistent, comfortable, and effective latch for milk transfer; and appropriate infant weight gain as defined by established normative growth curves. The time required to establish breastfeeding is variable.

Discourage parents from using pacifiers with strings and toys attached while infant is sleeping, due to risks of strangulation and suffocation.

It is recommended that infants be fed with human milk (ie, not offered any formula or other nonhuman milk-based supplements) exclusively for ∼6 mo, with continuation of human milk feeding for 1 y or longer as mutually desired by parent and infant, in alignment with recommendations of the AAP.


Vaccinations and SIDS

Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect their children from 14 diseases before they reach the age of two.

Vaccines work with the body's natural defenses to help babies and children safely develop immunity to some serious diseases, and can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Akron Children's Hospital and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend vaccinations for infants' health and immunity to diseases. The link (below) provides a chart for when infants and children should be receiving their vaccines.

Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule for ages 18 years or younger, United States, 2020

Here is a link to information for Akron Children's Hospital Pediatrics offices for families to become established, and receive these vaccination services


Take the Quiz

TRUE or FALSE: Practicing safe sleep, breastfeeding, and not smoking help decrease the risk of SIDS

Who should caregivers educate on the ABCs of safe sleep?

In what ways should we approach the conversation of safe sleep with families? (check all that apply)