Arizona Department of Health Services

Healthy Babies

After Delivery


In the first year of a baby's life, there are things we can do to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It's been nearly 20 years since the national "back to sleep" campaign was launched, teaching parents, child care providers, and health care professionals to put babies to sleep on their backs. The rate of SIDS went down by 50%. But rates have stalled and we're recognizing sleep-related issues such as suffocation and strangulation. Last year, 77 babies died in unsafe sleep environments, which is why we're promoting strategies for safe sleeping.

Research shows that we can reduce the risk for SIDS and sleep-related deaths by doing a number of things:

  • Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night
  • Place your baby on a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet, never on pillows, quilts, or other soft surfaces
  • Have baby sleep without extra bedding or toys, and ensure face is not covered during sleep
  • Safest place for baby to sleep is in the same room with a parent or caregiver but separate sleep surface, such as safety approved crib
  • Keep the baby's environment smoke-free
  • To prevent overheating, babies should sleep in lightweight clothing, with the room at temperature comfortable for an adult
  • ADHS Breastfeeding Program
    ADHS encourages moms to breastfeed for at least the first six months of their child's life. This is also promoted at hospitals with a program called AZ Baby Steps to Breastfeeding Success.
  • Arizona Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
    The WIC program continues to support babies after they are born providing breastfeeding support or formula to new parents and helping to educate families on proper nutrition.
  • Newborn Screening Program
    Get info on the tests performed on babies in Arizona shortly after birth and what diseases and complications proper screening and follow-up can prevent.

Note: Information provided in PDF files, unless otherwise indicated.