What exactly is a safe sleep surface?

We’ve all seen the store displays or the photos in magazines showcasing beautiful cribs overflowing with bedding, bumper pads, pillows, stuffed toys and more. It may make a pretty picture, but it can be a deadly combination in real life.

Not only are those things unnecessary for your infant, they can actually be suffocation hazards that lead to infant death. More than 200 babies have died in Missouri’s Bootheel since 2004 – most of them from unsafe sleep habits.

That’s why it’s critical for parents and all infant caregivers to know the ABC’S of Safe Sleep:

Babies sleep best: Alone, on their Backs, in a Crib or other safe Sleep Surface.

So what makes a safe sleep surface? A firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet is the first step. Also, avoid blankets, crib bumpers, pillow and stuffed toys. Those all represent suffocation hazards to babies under the age of one year.

Do you or someone you know need help creating a safe sleep environment for a baby? Let us know.


Boxinettes for Babies: Saving infant lives with safe sleep solutions

Bootheel Babies & Families has teamed up with local hospitals, including Saint Francis Medical Center, Missouri Delta Medical Center and Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center to provide Bootheel families with safe sleep boxinettes.

The program’s goal is to reduce infant mortality related to unsafe sleep habits – such as sharing beds or using unsafe bedding. The boxinettes will be distributed over a six-month period to women from six Bootheel counties (Scott, Stoddard, New Madrid, Mississippi, Dunklin and Pemiscot) who give birth at one of the participating hospitals.

The boxinettes have been independently tested for safety by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and can be used until the baby is about 5 to 6 months old, or weighs 15 pounds. Each boxinette also includes educational materials, swaddling gowns and pacifiers.

Bootheel Babies & Families recommends the boxinettes as part of the ABC’S of Safe Sleep: Babies sleep best Alone, on their Backs, in a Crib or other safe Sleep Surface.

Interested in learning more about the boxinette program? Contact us today.


Does being a preemie put my baby at higher risk of SIDS?

Yes. Recent studies have shown that babies born prematurely (before 37 weeks gestation) are at a higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome longer than full-term babies.

SIDS is the sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy baby. Practicing safe sleep habits has been proven to dramatically reduce an infant’s risk of SIDS. This includes the ABC’S of Safe Sleep, emphasizing that babies sleep best:

Alone, on their Backs, in a Crib or other safe Sleep Surface.

Most SIDS deaths occur when babies are between one and four months old, but it’s important to practice the ABC’S of Safe Sleep through your child’s first year of life. That means:

  • Never sharing a bed with your baby

  • Putting your baby to sleep on his or her back

  • Making sure your baby’s sleep surface is free of blankets, stuffed animals and other suffocation hazards

Learn more about the ABC’S of Safe Sleep at www.BootheelBabies.org/SafeSleep