Jamie's baby diary: The ABCs of newborn sleep safety

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths, or SUID, is very common. Three Ohio babies die every week in an unsafe sleep environment.

Among comparably developed counties, the United States has the highest SUID rate.

May factors are thought to contribute to SUID, including:

  • Maternal smoking during pregnancy - About one-third of SUID could be prevented if maternal smoking during pregnancy was eliminated.
  • Opioid epidemic - Up to a 15 fold increase in SUID death rate if the infant was exposed to opiates. It's unclear if the risk is from the chemical exposure, disparate care practices, or on-going caregiver impairment.
  • Relatively poor maternal support after delivery - Other countries offer longer, paid maternity leave and neonatal home visits.
  • The continued use of unsafe sleep practices - About 25 percent in the US.

Parents want their babies to be safe and comfortable. So what is safe?

Alone – Co-sleeping is a major risk factor for SUIDs.

Back – Infants should go "back to sleep" as belly sleeping is a risk for SUID.

Crib – Only a crib, bassinet or play-yard is safe. Other infant sleep surfaces are unsafe. Check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission for more.

What is comfortable?

  • A relatively firm and separate surface. It's OK to be in the parent’s room, but definitely not in the same bed.
  • Do not use pillows, bumpers, or blankets. “Bare is best,” according to the CPSC. “Simple is Safe; Fancy or Frilly is Fraught with Peril!”

It can be difficult to get reliable information, so use trusted resources including:

Jamie's Baby Diary entries:

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