Nobody puts baby in a corner.” It’s a great line from the movie Dirty Dancing, but maybe not the best idea for a safe infant sleep environment.

I was recently reading some comments by Senior Research Scientist at Calgary Counselling Centre and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary Dr. Amy M. Bender (a good follow on Twitter – @sleep4sport), regarding advertising photos depicting infants in unsafe sleeping environments. She brought up some good points, so I thought this would serve as a perfect opportunity to share some simple rules for safe infant sleeping.

There is a simple abbreviation (ABC) to remember for safe infant sleep basics.

ABC stands for:

A – Alone. Your infant should sleep alone, without toys, pillows, loose products, or other humans.
B – Back. Place your infant on their back for sleep.
C – Crib. Keep your baby in a safe environment, with a mattress that fits snugly within the crib walls. The mattress should be firm, and we encourage the use of latex or natural materials (cotton, wool, silk) for padding materials, with or without an innerspring unit.

Health Canada provides some wonderful infant sleep safety tips, and they go into great detail about the many things to consider in providing your infant with a safe sleeping environment. The USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a great summary of tips for helping babies to sleep safely.

The USA Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also recently cautioned consumers to not use inclined infant sleep products. A new study was added to existing evidence that inclined sleepers with higher angles do not provide a safe sleep environment for infants, with some inclined sleepers already being recalled by the CPSC.

So be sure to learn your ABCs. Not only for spelling, but also for the safety of your infant while they sleep, rest and restore. Patrick Swayze would agree.