Infant Sleeping and Seating Arrangements

Follow the American Academy of Pediatrics policy about preventing sleep related deaths in group care settings. Standards,, and of the updated, HTML version of Caring for Our Children, say what should be done. Many early childhood programs must change some common practices.

For infants in group care settings:
* Use well-fitted clothing for warmth, NO BLANKETS or soft objects with the infant in the crib because they increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.)
* Avoid overheating. Dress the child for comfort. At most, dress infants in one more layer of clothing than adults need in the same environment.
* No swaddling in child care facilities. Swaddling may increase the risk of SIDS and interfere with proper growth of the hip socket.
* Put infants to sleep in an individual, safe crib. No sleeping in sitting devices (swings, car seats, infant seats etc.) except when the infant sleeps while traveling in a vehicle. Travel times should be brief. Sitting in seats may lower blood oxygen levels of infants.
* Limit sitting in a high chair or other equipment that restricts movement indoors or outdoors to no more than 15 minutes. This time can be longer for feeding or while traveling in a vehicle. Infants need to be free to move for fitness.

For more information, read the standards, their rationale and comments. For questions about this topic and other health and safety issues, contact ECELS-Healthy Child Care PA in PA at 800-24-ECELS (2357) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Reviewed and reaffirmed 7/2021