Guest post by the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida.
In recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness Month we encourage everyone to get involved and help reduce infant mortality rate by providing safe sleeping environments for our babies. How do you do that?
Here are some tips from our “Sleep Right, Sleep Tight” public awareness campaign on how you can provide safe sleep for your baby:
- Make sure your baby’s crib, bassinet, cradle, or side-car bed is undamaged and meets current Consumer Products Safety Commission standards.
- Put baby’s crib, cradle or bassinet close to parent or caregiver’s bed for the first six months.
- Place your baby face up to sleep; sleeping on the stomach or side increases the risk of suffocations.
- Tell everyone who takes care of your baby about how to keep your baby safe during sleep.
- Make sure the baby’s mattress is firm and fits snugly in its frame.
- Make sure the baby’s sheet fits tightly around the mattress.
- Keep the baby’s sleeping area away from all loose strings (i.e. blind cords, electrical cords and clothing)
- Offer your baby a pacifier (never a bottle) when placing your baby down to sleep. The pacifier should not be put back into the baby’s mouth if it is spit out during sleep. If the baby does not want the pacifier, do not force it and never do anything to hold it in place.
- Respond to your baby’s cries during the night.
- Keep the room temperature of your baby’s sleeping area comfortable for a lightly clothed adult to keep baby from getting overheated.
- Hang baby’s mobile out of baby’s reach and remove it once baby learns to sit up.
- Lower baby’s mattress when your baby learns to sit, and again when they learn to stand to prevent baby from falling out of the crib.