24 Hours to 28 Days

24 Hours to 28 Days

Your baby’s finally home with you! It may seem scary to welcome your little one into this big, wonderful world. This fear is often caused by a parent’s worry about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS, the No. 1 cause of death in a baby’s first year, often happens without warning to healthy babies. The good news is that many risk factors for SIDS are preventable, and once your baby gets through the first 28 days of life, the risk of SIDS lowers dramatically.

Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back.
Put your baby to sleep on a flat, firm surface, like a crib mattress covered with a fitted sheet. There shouldn’t be any gaps between the mattress and the crib. Soft surfaces like beds or sofas are not safe places for a baby to sleep.

Keep the crib clear of blankets and toys.
Babies don’t need any blankets, coverings, toys or stuffed animals in the crib with them –in fact, these items can cause the baby to overheat and even suffocate. Instead, dress your baby in light sleep clothes or use a sleep sack (but not a blanket) for extra warmth.

Avoid co-sleeping.
Although it’s tempting to cuddle with the baby while sleeping in the same bed, co-sleeping puts your baby at risk for suffocation and SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that babies should never go to sleep with anyone.

Feed your baby only breast milk for at least six months, and continue breastfeeding your baby until their first birthday if possible. Breastfeeding your newborn protects them from many illnesses, provides vital nutrients that babies need to grow and develop and helps moms lose pregnancy weight faster, among other benefits.

Continue to avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
Breast milk can transmit chemicals from tobacco, alcohol and drugs to your baby, causing health and behavioral issues. Additionally, secondhand smoke is dangerous to babies and poses threats that can contribute to SIDS.

Find out if you’re eligible for WIC. WIC connects pregnant and new mothers to the nutritional, educational and supportive services they need. To learn more about the program, visit