In honor of SIDS Awareness Month, we’re sharing five of our go-to, reliable resources on safe sleep for babies. After all, sleep is easily the topic that consumes our minds as new parents more than any other — Are they getting enough sleep? Do I really need a schedule? Is my crib okay? Is my mattress okay? Are bumpers actually unsafe? Can they sleep with me? What happens if the baby rolls over onto her stomach?
We get it. It’s stressful!
So we really hope these resources help new parents get the info and the reassurances we all need, so we can hopefully rest just a little a bit easier too, knowing that we’re keeping our babies safe while they sleep.
1) Safe to Sleep Campaign
The Safe to Sleep Campaign, formerly known as the Back to Sleep Campaign, hails from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It’s a fantastic resource which focuses on the actions all caregivers can take to help our babies sleep safely, and to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. (Yikes.) We love the videos they offer in both English and Spanish, which teach grandparents and other trusted caregivers how to create a safe sleep environment for infants.
Check out the Kids Health website, which is chock full of information on pediatric health, development, and behavioral issues. The great thing about this site is that the articles present medical information in a very readable, easy to understand way. There are even specific sections focusing on topics around safe sleep for babies, including bed-sharing, choosing the safest baby crib, and simple tips for reducing the risk of SIDS including a breakdown of AAP recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is part of our government’s Department of Health and Human Services. (You know how important it is if you follow medical news or watch The Walking Dead.) I just need to say that this site is so comprehensive, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the massive amounts of information. Even so, the tips and resources you’ll find on the CDC’s SIDS page are clear and comprehensive so it’s definitely worth a visit.
They have quite a few links to other sites that provide specific info around safe sleep for babies, whether it’s help quitting smoking or a thorough crib safety checklist from the CPSC. There are also bereavement resources for families who may have tragically lost a child to SIDS.
4) CJ Foundation for SIDS
The national non-profit CJ Foundation was founded in 1994 by parents in memory of their daughter, Carly Jenna, who sadly died from SIDS in 1993. We are so grateful that they were able to channel their remarkable strength and use their personal tragedy to create a resource dedicated to helping educate new parents about the risks and providing support for other grieving families. Since then, they’ve done so much good — they’ve created the Face Up to Wake Up campaign, developed educational resource kits for at-risk populations, and funded grants for research and programs around SIDS.
5) Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global organization created by pediatrician Dr. Marty Eichelberger nearly 30 years ago to help cut down the number of preventable injuries in children. Today, I find it’s an indispensable resource for parents when it comes to all things safety, including safe sleep for babies. Visit the site for sign up for product recall emails issued by multiple organizations, and to find valuable sleep safety tips as well as info on car seat guidelines, playground safety, and pretty much anything you can think of (or might not think of) to keep your kids safe — all the way up to first-time driver tips for your teens.
But first, let’s get through the infant sleep stage before we worry about that!
UPDATE 10/24/16: Today the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines on reducing the risk of SIDS. Their latest recommendations for safe sleeping environments for infants can be found here.