Newborn baby in mother
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Keeping your newborn safe

While in hospital, do not leave your baby unattended. Leave your baby only with hospital personnel with proper Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre photo identification.

You are encouraged to accompany your baby for any procedures that need to be done outside of your room.


It is easy for babies to fall. They should always be within hands reach, unless they are in their bassinette or crib with all four sides up.

Mittens & booties

Mittens and booties are not recommended for babies. Loose threads may become tightly tangled around fingers and toes which can cause damage, including loss of fingers or toes. Babies use their fingers to comfort themselves so it is important for your baby's hands to be left uncovered. If your baby's fingernails are long you can use a baby nail file/emery board to shorten them.

Back to sleep, crib safety and sleep tips

  • The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that babies under one year of age sleep on their backs. This is the safest position for newborns to sleep.
  • Wedges or rolls to keep your baby on their side should not be used.
  • Toys, stuffed animals, pillows or any other items should not be in the baby's bassinette or crib.
  • To prevent flattening of the back or side of your baby's head, supervised tummy time, while awake is recommended after each diaper change for five minutes.

Cribs, cradles and bassinets

» View the Government of Canada's regulations on cribs, cradles and bassinets

Safe sleep tips


Tips from the Government of Canada

» View safe sleep tips brochure 

Tummy time

To prevent flattening of the back or side of the baby’s head, supervised tummy time while the baby is awake is recommended. Learn more and watch our video demonstration.

Car seat safety

  • It is the law that babies travelling in a car must be in an approved infant car seat, which faces "backward" (toward the rear of the car) in the back seat and is the appropriate for the size of your baby.
  • Babies should not be transported in a vehicle in someone's arms, or in a seat that has not been approved for use in a motor vehicle.
  • Your child's car seat should have this Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards(CMVSS) sticker on it. This sticker indicates the seat meets Canadian standards and is legal to use in Canada.


Brampton Fire & Emergency Service offers their video on DVD, available to order for a minimal charge

Community car seat inspection clinics

Contact your local public health unit for installation & inspection clinics in your community.

Additional information

When to get help for baby

Call the Breastfeeding Clinic Helpline (416-480-5900) right away if:

  • Breastfeeding is not going well, i.e. baby is difficult to wake to feed or baby is fussy and not settling.
  • Your baby is not feeding 8 times in 24 hours or only feeds for a few minutes or is not feeding.
  • You are worried that your baby is not getting enough milk.
  • You have any breastfeeding questions or concerns about baby's feeding.

Call your baby's doctor right away if:

  • Your baby feels hot or has a temperature of over 37.5°C or 99.5°F under your baby's armpit.
  • Your baby is vomiting forcefully.
  • Your baby's behaviour changes. Your baby has very little energy and is not moving much or your baby is very sleepy, is difficult to wake and is not feeding 8 times in 24 hour period, or feeds only a few minutes then falls asleep. Or your baby is quite irritable and will not stop crying.
  • You think your baby is dehydrated. You see less wet and dirty diapers than the age of your baby (view chart)
  • Your baby's skin or the white part of your baby's eyes turns yellow, especially within the first 48 hours.
    Learn more about Jaundice.
  • Your baby's umbilical cord has a bad or foul smell, yellow discharge or redness or has any swelling or feels warm to touch.

If you can't reach your baby's doctor and any of the above situation(s) is not getting better, please go to the nearest walk-in clinic or hospital emergency.

Note: Please do not bring your baby to Sunnybrook emergency as Sunnybrook is ONLY able to see adult patients.

Call 911 or go to nearest EMERGENCY department (Not Sunnybrook) IMMEDIATELY if:

  • Your baby has breathing problems. Your baby is having trouble breathing, is choking, cannot get their breath, or has stopped breathing.
  • Your baby has blue skin colour. Your baby's skin colour looks blue. If you are not sure, look inside their mouth for blueness (tongue, lips and gums).