New parents often spend hours watching their babies sleep. They look so peaceful and tiny. That being said, it’s important to know the wrong sleep environment is unsafe for your little one.
To keep infants safe while they sleep, parents should follow 3 simple steps, known as the ABCs of safe sleep. These steps are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Babies should always sleep alone
- On their backs
- And in their cribs
Why is this so important? The most common cause of preventable infant deaths is unintentional suffocation. Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services created a video to raise awareness of this problem.
Babies should sleep on their backs on a firm surface without toys, pillows, or blankets around them. A crib isn’t the only place that can meet those criteria.
Starting in 1938, the government of Finland gave each expectant mother a box with a small mattress in it. They also began education about safe sleep practices. When Finnish newborns began sleeping on mattresses inside cardboard boxes, preventable infant deaths plummeted. Today, Finland has one of the lowest rates of infant deaths in the world.
Whether you use a crib, bassinet, or safe sleep baby box, remember the ABCs of safe sleep to keep your infant safe.
If you’re an Alaska resident, go to the Safe Sleep tab on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/PremeraBlueCross. Now through the end of August, you can share photos of your baby using the ABCs of safe sleep for a chance to win gift cards or free diapers for a year.