Free Educational Materials and Safe Sleep Sacks Available!

Agencies that serve families with infants can request free educational materials about safe sleep. The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment is also offering free "sleep sacks" for infants. A sleep sack is a wearable blanket for infants that helps prevent suffocation from loose blankets while a baby is sleeping. 

Fast Facts: 

  • Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States and third leading cause of death for Coloradans under age 18.
  • 88.1% Colorado Mothers reported they most often lay their infants down to sleep on their backs.
  • 91.3% Non-Hispanic white mothers and 73.5% Black mothers reported that they most often lay their infants down to sleep on their backs.
  • Infants in frontier counties in Colorado are 1.6x as likely to die by SUID when compared with those living in an urban counties.
  • Persons using tobacco, taking sedatives, medications or drugs, or intoxicated from alcohol or other substances, or otherwise excessively unable to arouse easily from sleep should not cosleep on the same surface with the infant.


  1. Bed-sharing (where babies and caregivers sleep in the same bed) is one of the most common causes of death in infants under 3 months old. Sharing a bed increases risks of overheating, airway obstruction, and head covering, all of which are risk-factors for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It's recommended to share a room with your baby for at least the first 6 months to a year, but not recommended to share a bed.

  2. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents use a crib or bassinet to promote safe sleep for their babies. 

    A separate crib or bassinet for your baby is considered the safest place for your baby to sleep during their first years of life. Sleeping in a crib or bassinet helps prevent the most common risks associated with infant sleep, including strangulation or suffocation. Even if a baby sleeps in an adult bed alone, there are still risks.

  3. Many retail locations offer a variety of crib options and prices. All cribs sold in the United States must adhere to consumer product safety standards, so buying a less expensive crib or bassinet should not affect the safety of the crib.  

    Low to no-cost crib options may also be available for low income families through the following resources: 

    • Request a crib through Cribs for Kids. Cribs for Kids partners are also located throughout Colorado, and many provide free cribs for low-income families who qualify. 
    • Request maternity and newborn clothes and supplies through Stork Support of Northern Colorado 
  4. SIDS/SUIDS can affect babies up to 12 months (1 year) old. It's important to take the risk of SIDS seriously throughout the baby's first year of life, though a baby's risk of SIDS drops significantly after 6 months.

  5. Baby boxes are cardboard boxes, often including a small mattress and fitted sheet that are designed to mimic the safe sleep environment that's recommended for babies. Currently, very little is known about the safety and effectiveness of these boxes and there is little evidence that these boxes can reduce the risk of SIDS/SUIDS.  Baby boxes are also not required to meet the same safety standards as cribs and bassinets. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend these boxes, and encourages families who are considering alternative sleeping environments to discuss these options with their pediatrician or other healthcare provider.