OSDH Offers Tips on Safe Sleep for Your Baby

Monday, 02 October 2023 10:13

OSDH Offers Tips on Safe Sleep for Your Baby Featured

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OSDH Offers Tips on Safe Sleep for Your Baby OSDH website

OKLAHOMA CITY – One of the leading causes of death in babies one to 12 months old is sleep-related infant deaths, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.

Data from the 2021 Oklahoma Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) show the sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) infant mortality rate (IMR) was 1.4 babies per 1,000 live births.

“We don’t want any Oklahoma family to experience the death of a baby,” said James Craig, the OSDH Infant Safe Sleep Coordinator. “There are things families can do to help reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths and we encourage parents and guardians to follow recommendations.”

SIDS is the sudden, unexpected death of a baby younger than one year of age that does not have a known cause even after a complete investigation. SUID covers all infant sleep-related deaths, including those for which there is an identified cause.

To help reduce the risk of SIDS or SUID, infants should sleep in their parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for at least the first six months.

“There are products that seem safe for a sleeping infant, like certain loungers or using breast feeding pillows as “loungers”, but they are not, they pose a suffocation risk for babies,” said Craig.

The safest place for a baby to sleep is a crib, portable crib (pack n play), or bassinet (bassinets are only approved for the first six months at most, with some less than that). The key for the sleep environment is that it is a firm, flat, non-inclined sleep surface to reduce the risk of suffocation or wedging/entrapment.

Babies should only sleep wearing a onesie and wearable blanket (sleep sack) without anything else in the sleep space such as blankets, loose sheets, pillows and toys.

Other safe sleep tips include:

  • Offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Breastfeeding until 12 months, when possible.
  • Having regular supervised “tummy time” when baby is awake.
  • Setting “smoke-free” rules around you and your baby before and after birth.
  • Avoiding alcohol and drug use during pregnancy and after birth.
  • Not using weighted blankets, weighted sleepers, weighted swaddles, or other weighted objects placed on or near the sleeping infant.

For more information on safe sleep visit Safe Sleep For Your Baby (oklahoma.gov) or email James Craig at jamescc@health.ok.gov.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at Oklahoma.gov/health.

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