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How Military Parents Can Create Safe Sleeping Environments for Infants

Newborn baby girl sleeps

One of the easiest ways for military parents to keep their newborns safe — and decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome — is to arrange a safe sleeping place before bringing them home from the hospital.

Are you a new parent? Check out this free program.

The New Parent Support Program offers military parents classes and one-on-one support, both before and after your child is born.

Safe infant sleep tips

Here are a few ways you can create a safe sleep environment for your newborn:

  • Practice “room sharing, not bed sharing,” by keeping your baby in a separate crib or bassinet in a parent’s room. Co-sleeping can lead to accidental suffocation and infant death.
  • Make sure the crib mattress is firm and flat, as nearly 40 percent of U.S. infant deaths are attributed to soft bedding.
  • Always place babies on their back to sleep.
  • Keep the crib clear of all pillows, blankets, bumper pads and stuffed animals during sleep time. Even though most crib bedding sets are sold with these accessories, an empty crib is the safest space for your newborn to sleep.
  • Make sure there are no small objects, strings or wires within reach.
  • Review tips for creating a safe sleep area for babies and watch the Centers for Disease Control Safe Sleeping Video for guidance.

Other ways to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS

Here are a few additional suggestions to help keep your baby safe:

If you’re feeling overwhelmed as a new parent and would like help navigating your way through this rewarding yet challenging time, there are resources available to you. Your installation’s Family Advocacy Program offers a New Parent Support Program, which can provide you with one-on-one advice within the privacy of your home. The program can also answer questions you may have by offering up-to-date parenting practices supported by the latest research.


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