There is nothing more innocent than a sleeping baby. There is nothing more tragic than a baby who dies in his or her sleep. Fortunately, research shows that many of these deaths can be prevented.
As a doctor at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I see the good and the bad. I see smiling babies toddling down our hallways and giggling infants squealing with delight. But, I also see families whose lives changed forever because of the death of an infant.
While I am a doctor, my most important title in life is “dad” to a 7-year-old son. I simply cannot imagine life without him. When he was a baby, my wife and I took extra precautions to put him in a safe sleep environment. It wasn’t always easy. We were tired. Sometimes, we were downright exhausted. But, it was our job to protect him.
Taking our cue from the American Academy of Pediatrics, we used three easy-to-remember steps to help maintain a safe sleep environment for my son when he was an infant:
- A: Babies always should sleep alone. Sleeping with your baby in your bed, on a couch or in a chair is not safe.
- B: Babies should sleep on their backs. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this is the safest position for babies to sleep in.
- C: Babies should sleep in a crib. Make sure there are no bumper pads, toys or other items in the crib.
Download Children’s Hospital’s safe sleep flier, post it in your child’s nursery and share it with a friend.
- Jason Jarzembowski, MD, PhD, program director of perinatal pathology, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin