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ABC’s of Sleep

After waking up this morning, I was doing my usual scroll of news apps and read a devastating article about infants dying in their sleep. A major local children’s hospital in Fort Worth reports 30 infant deaths since January of last year due to unsafe sleep situations. This number is HUGE and has been increasing. 

Most of the children were found to be co-sleeping or sharing the same sleep space as a caregiver. Other children died because they had pillows or blankets in the crib with them or were propped up on a cushion with a bottle in their mouths. One even wore a loose shirt that came up and covered their face as they slept.

The article says that over half of the babies were Black, with Hispanic babies being the next most common. This shows that we still have work to do to ensure every baby in the world has a safe sleeping scenario, and the best way to do that is through education. Of course, it doesn’t help that so many photos of sleeping infants show them in unsafe sleep scenarios.

Many people choose to bedshare because that’s how they were raised. It may be a cultural or generational expectation. Or maybe they just don’t have a separate sleep space for their child. Whatever the reason, I wish more were being done to educate and help these families prevent such a tragic event. I’ve seen the rare billboard advertising safe sleep and I’d love to see more of them.

The safest sleep for an infant should follow the ABC’s of sleep:

Sure, that means your new crib photos in the lovingly decorated nursery will be bare and boring. But that is what is safest – a baby sleeping by themselves with no loose clothing, no stuffed animals, and no cute blankets or pillows.

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