Homestead Hospital is dedicated to the health and safety of our youngest patients. That’s why we are on the journey to achieve certification as a Safe Sleep Hospital. The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program recognizes hospitals that have committed to making babies as safe as possible in their sleep environments and eliminating as many sleep-related deaths as possible.
Why Safe Sleep Matters
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are around 3,500 sleep-related deaths among babies in the U.S. each year. Safe sleep practices are designed to reduce the chances of sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUIDS), accidental suffocation and other deaths related to unsafe sleep practices. Thanks to safe sleep practices, sleep-related deaths like SUIDS are on the decline. It is important that all health providers, parents and caregivers know how to create a safe sleep environment.
Best Practices for Safe Sleep
- Always place baby on his or her back to sleep for naps and at night.
- Always place baby to sleep in a bassinet, crib or portable crib that conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Use a firm sleep surface covered by a fitted sheet.
- Keep soft objects such as pillows and blankets, wedges and positioners and toys and bumpers out of your baby’s sleep area.
- Never place your baby to sleep on an adult bed, couch, sofa or chair.
- Keep your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep for first year, but do not let your baby sleep with you or anyone else in bed. Room-sharing is recommended, but co-bedding is not.
- Never place a crib near a window with blind or curtain cords or baby monitor cords to prevent strangulation.
- Do not use sitting devices like bouncy seats, swings, infant carriers or strollers for routine sleep.
- Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.
- Supervised skin-to-skin contact for one hour is recommended for all mothers and infants immediately following birth or as soon as mother is medically stable, awake and able to respond to her newborn.
- Breastfeed your baby (studies show babies who breastfeed have a lower risk for SUID).
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or allow smoking around your baby.
- If using a pacifier, give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string to decrease the risk of choking or strangling.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s guidance for your baby’s vaccines and regular health checkups.