Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared October 2021 Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month calling attention to the importance of preventing sleep-related infant deaths. Most people think this would never happen to them, but the sad reality is that a baby dies nearly every other day in Michigan and these deaths are overwhelmingly preventable.
To keep babies 0-12 months of age safe, while sleeping at night and during naps, follow the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines:
Place baby on back, in a crib, bassinet or pack n' play for every sleep time.
Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet.
Keep baby’s sleep space clutter free – no pillows, blankets, bumper pads, or toys.
Avoid covering baby’s head or overheating. Instead of a blanket, consider using a sleep sack, wearable blanket or footed sleeper to keep baby warm.
Remind everyone who cares for baby, including babysitters and family members, how to keep baby safe while sleeping.
Keep baby in a smoke-free environment.
Support breastfeeding and immunizations.
Learn more about the safe sleep guidelines and why they are recommended to keep babies safe.
Take time to promote infant safe sleep in your community - educate your clients, friends and family. Join us and learn to how you can make a difference in October, and all year long!
SIDS Awareness Month
Nationally, October is also SIDS Awareness Month. The Safe to Sleep® Campaign SIDS Awareness Month Toolkit offers resources to help your agency/organization promote SIDS Awareness Month.
Planning for Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month
Hear about how our partners are spreading awareness in October and all year long by watching the recording of the “Getting Ready for Infant Safe Sleep Month” webinar.
The AAP recommends that organizations follow the infant safe sleep guidelines in their messaging and resource materials. The National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep at the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health has developed Modeling Safe Practices: A Checklist for Infant Sleep & Breastfeeding Images that you can use to ensure all of your resources have images that model breastfeeding-friendly, safe infant sleep practices. Go to Images You Can Use to easily access images of babies sleeping safely, families with children, breastfeeding moms and more
Safe Sleep Communications Toolkit
The Safe Sleep Communications Toolkit provides a variety of resources that you can use to promote infant safe sleep. You will find links to social media messages, images and videos you can use, and campaign tips. You will also find sample newsletter articles and press releases, including ones for Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month.
Infant Safe Sleep Resources
Search by county a list of local safe sleep resources, such as cribs or training sessions, for families.
Online Educational Opportunities
Free, online educational opportunities are available, including:
Infant Safe Sleep for Professionals Working with Families - for any individual who works with families that have or are expecting infants, such as nurses, social workers, health educators, home visitors, and child welfare workers.
Infant Safe Sleep: The Basics and Beyond- for nurses caring for infants within hospitals (such as mother/baby and labor and delivery units).
Helping Families Practice Infant Safe Sleep – an advanced training for any professional who wants to learn how to address the potential challenges that parents and caregivers have with following the safe sleep guidelines and to have effective, open and non-judgmental conversations with parents and caregivers.