Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Risk factors - infant sleep environments

The risk factors are:

  • non-supine sleep position
  • sleep surfaces not recommended for infant sleep
  • shared sleep surface
  • extra items in the sleep environment.

A comprehensive assessment of these four risk factors should be conducted at the initial encounter with families. The identification of these factors can help tailor the approach to promoting safe sleep for infants and determine the need for specific interventions (for example, health teaching).

Sleep surfaces that are not recommended for infant sleep:

  • adult’s bed
  • sofas
  • couches
  • armchairs
  • baby seats
  • swings
  • bouncers
  • strollers
  • slings
  • car seats
  • shared sleep surfaces  
Women and Children
Working with Families to Promote Safe Sleep for Infants
Point of Care Resources