sleeping baby“Naptime” — the word is music to a sleep-deprived parent’s ears. But when choosing a spot to put your baby down for a snooze, there’s one place in particular you should avoid: the sofa.

A study published in the November issue of Pediatrics examined more than 9,000 infant sleep-related deaths from 2004 to 2012 and found that more than 1,000 of the babies died while sleeping on the sofa. Infants age 0-3 months accounted for 72 percent of those deaths.

In many of these cases, the infant was sharing the sofa with another person.

When it comes to your baby's naptime, here are some basic safety tips to keep in mind:

  • The safest place for your baby to sleep is in her bassinet or crib.
  • Your baby’s sleeping space should be free of all blankets, pillows and stuffed toys. The sheet should be fitted to the mattress. Many people choose to swaddle their babies or use special "sleep sacs," which are safer than loose bedding.
  • Always place your baby on his back to sleep.
  • Make sure your baby isn't too hot when she is sleeping. Keep the room cool enough for a clothed adult and dress your baby lightly.
  • If your baby uses a pacifier at bedtime or naptime, be sure it is not attached to a cord or a string.

Contributed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello Jr., MD