Best sleep practices for babies with Carle Foundation Hospital


Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana was recently recognized for its work in ensuring parents understand the safest way babies should be sleeping. The hospital received the bronze Cribs for Kids hospital designation for its commitment to modeling and teaching infant best sleep practices. Today we have Cortney Nyadaro here to speak with us about what the designation means as well as how Carle shares information about how babies should sleep.

Courtney, can you tell us a bit about the certification recently received.
• Cribs for Kids, a national authority on infant safe sleep created the designation in 2015 for hospitals. The non-profit is based in Pittsburgh started emphasizing safe sleep practices for babies in response to higher death rates in lower-income areas and infants born to black women. Most of the babies were found on couches, in chairs or adult beds.
• Cribs for Kids was designed to provide cribs for families who did not have them as well as educate parents about how to safely put baby to sleep.
• National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification started in 2015. There is a bronze, silver and gold level for hospitals that demonstrate how they model and teach infant safe sleep practices. Each certificate is for five years with annual reports to maintain the certification.
• Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal has a silver Cribs for Kids hospital designation.

What happened in order for Carle to receive the designation?
• Three-pronged effort

  • develop a safe sleep policy statement
  • train staff (more than 500 at CFH) on safe sleep guidelines and model the behavior with babies less than 1 year old who are in the hospital
  • educate parents on the need for safe sleeping areas when the baby is at home
  • What demographics have higher infant mortality rates where there is no obvious cause for a baby suddenly dying?
    • In Illinois, infants born to women younger than 20 years old.
    • Infants born to black women. The infant mortality rate decreased for white and Hispanic women from 2000-2018, but since 2008, the rate for black women has remained unchanged.
    • Pre-term births (less than 37 weeks gestation) also means more risk for babies. Neighboring Vermilion County showed a higher-than-expected pre-term birth rate.
    • Infant mortality rate decreased as the mother’s education level increased.
    How do you know if parents are serious about ensuring their baby is sleeping in a safe space at home?
  • After a child is born at Carle, we ask parents to sign an infant safety education and release form. This helps to emphasize the importance of safe sleep both in the hospital and at home.
    What is on the form?
    The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommended practices of safe sleep which are the ABC’s:
    • Sleep Alone – They should not share a bed or sleep with others.
    • Sleep on their Back – They should be placed on their back every time, by every caretaker.
    • Sleep Crib – They should sleep in a safety approved crib.
    • Sleep Close – They should sleep close by (same room), but separate from others.
    • Sleep Firm- They should be on a firm crib mattress for all sleeping (naps and bedtime). They should not sleep on a couch or chair. Do not use a car seat, carrier, or other sleep positioner.
    • Sleep Free – The crib should be free of blankets, bumpers, wedges, pillows, stuffed animals, loose bedding, toys, etc. The mattress should be covered with only a single, tight-fitted sheet.
    • Be Smokeless – The infant should be in a smoke-free environment at all times, not just for sleeping.
    Other advice you can give parents of babies younger than 1 year old?
    • Do not over bundle an infant. Avoid overheating and head coverings/hats.
    • Breastfeeding decreases the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
    • After breastfeeding is well established, a pacifier with no clips or cords can be offered during sleep. Studies have shown a protective effect of breastfeeding and pacifiers on the incidence of SIDS.
    • Tummy time should be directly observed and supervised while the infant is alert and awake.
    • It is important to your child’s health to maintain regular checkups and immunizations.
    • Sleep-related deaths such as accidental suffocation and SIDS are a leading cause of death in babies 1-12 months of age. Infants 2-4 months old are at the highest risk for sleep-related deaths.
    Where else can people learn more?

Carle Health –
American Academy of Pediatrics –
Cribs for Kids –

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