Sonoma County Maternal Child and Adolescent Health

Visit our Website


What's the difference?

We use different terms to talk about babies who die during sleep

But all relate to deaths that are unexpected—

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant (less than one year of age) when the cause and manner of death are not immediately obvious prior to an investigation. This is an overall term for one of three types of infant deaths: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), unknown cause (no investigation completed), and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (ASSB).

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the medical history.

Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB) is the leading cause of infant injury death. Mechanisms that lead to accidental suffocation or strangulation include

  • Suffocation by soft bedding, such as when a pillow or waterbed mattress covers an infant’s nose and mouth.
  • Overlay—when another person rolls on top of or against the infant while sleeping
  • Wedging or entrapment—when an infant is wedged between two objects, such as a mattress and wall, bed frame, or furniture.
  • Strangulation—when an infant’s head and neck become caught between crib rails or another structure

ASSB Accounts for just 21% of SUID among Hispanic and 26% among Black and White Infants

However- it is the Most Preventable SUID

You can help families overcome barriers to safe sleep by taking into account needs, beliefs and context

Building on Campaigns with Conversations

A series of learning modules designed for health professionals, community health workers, home visitors and peer supporters who talk with families about breastfeeding and safe sleep.

Building on Campaigns with Conversations

Building on Campaigns with Conversations is an exciting new approach to supporting caregivers to help overcome barriers to safe sleep and breastfeeding. It is part of a greater trend in public health promotion—utilizing an individualized approach that takes into account each family’s needs, beliefs, and the context of their lives. This training on the Conversations Approach is based on Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior and follows current recommendations from the American Academy for Pediatrics (AAP) for safe sleep and optimal breastfeeding for healthy infants.

For the Complete AAP Toolkit

of infographics, videos and posters


The AAP Safe Sleep Toolkit

has resources in English and Spanish


Attend the 40th Annual SIDS/SUID Conference

On-Line October 26-28

Thank you for having these difficult conversations with your clients,

for making sure Sonoma County Babies Sleep Safe,

and as always for everything you do for our community.

-Liz George, Perinatal Services Coordinator

Sonoma County Maternal Child and Adolescent Health | Website