Many counties in Ohio, including Montgomery County, have an alarming number of babies dying from accidental suffocation before their first birthday.
Parents can take steps to ensure their baby has a safe sleeping environment by following the ABCs of safe sleep—Alone on their back in their crib. Below are some guidelines to ensure your baby is sleeping safely.
- Always put baby to sleep on their back during their first year, including naptime. Even if your baby can roll over to their stomach, they should start on their back.
- Put baby to sleep in their crib or bassinet as this is the safest sleep environment for your baby. A safe sleep crib or bassinet has a flat, firm surface with one tightly fitted sheet and nothing else.
- Keep your baby’s room at a comfortable temperature. If you’re worried the baby might be cold, they can wear a sleep sack.
- Practice tummy time while the baby is awake. Tummy time helps your baby strengthen their head, neck, arms, chest, and back muscles. Tummy time also helps prevent a flat spot from developing on the baby’s head.
- Don’t put loose-fitting sheets, blankets, bumpers, pillows, toys, positioning wedges, pacifiers with toys (Wubbanubs), burp cloths, diapers, wipes, etc. in your baby’s crib or bassinet.
- Don’t let the baby sleep with others. The safest place for a baby to sleep is in the same room as their caregiver, but in their own crib or bassinet. If you’re worried you might fall asleep while feeding your baby, ensure it’s a safe environment without pillows, blankets, or toys, with a firm surface and tight, fitted sheet.
- Don’t let the baby sleep on soft surfaces like sofas and soft mattresses. The baby’s crib or bassinet mattress should be firm. Soft sleep surfaces are still a risk for babies after the age of four months.
Kettering Health Network is committed to making sure every baby sleeps safely by training nurses to model safe sleep before babies leave the hospital and educating the importance of safe sleep to parents. Kettering Health Network is teaming up with the Everyone Reach One Infant Mortality Task Force to reduce the number of babies who die before their first birthday.
Residents in Montgomery County can take part in the Cribs for Kids program, designed to provide cribs to families who can’t afford them to ensure every baby sleeps safely. To check your eligibility for a free crib, call Cribs for Kids at (937) 224-3696.