Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Babies Sleep Safest in Their Own Beds


Based on their findings, Kemp and colleagues conclude "that the deaths may not have occurred if certain high-risk sleep practices had been avoided, and that the majority of deaths were preventable."

If there's any good news, it's that the rate of SIDS has dropped drastically in the last 10 years, according to Betty McEntire, PhD, executive director of the American SIDS Institute in Atlanta. The reason, she tells WebMD, is that "one of the big emphases has been in placing babies in a safe sleep environment, and that's a very simple thing."

McEntire stresses that babies be placed face up in their own bed on a firm mattress, with nothing around their face. That means no bumper pad, no toys, and no pillows.

In addition, Kemp says, "Parents should not fall asleep on couches or chairs with their infants, or sleep in the same bed with the infant if they use blankets or pillows. And always put infants on their back to sleep."

Experts agree that intensifying the public health message to parents, guardians, and day care providers about safe sleep is crucial. Still, the issue remains controversial because many parents and organizations encourage bonding in bed with the baby.

"I love the thought of [bedsharing] with a baby," McEntire says. But to safely bond with baby, she suggests that parents "take the baby in the bed to cuddle; then, before you or the baby goes to sleep, place him in a safe bed."

Andrew H. Urbach, MD, believes the "back-to-sleep" message has become increasingly clear over time, despite the controversy. "All [experts] now recommend babies be placed on their backs for sleep," he tells WebMD. "And bedsharing is a behavior I personally discourage and many pediatricians do, too. Still, it's controversial. At one time, sharing a bed is how we lived and how we slept, with our children next to us." But that's definitely a practice to be questioned now, because of the substantial risk of SIDS, says Urbach, professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow