Would you believe that Finland has lowered its infant mortality rate from 65 out of 1,000 babies to one of the lowest in the world--and now has some of the happiest mothers in the world---because they put their babies in boxes? Baby boxes, or boxinettes, are now being given out at some U.S. Hospitals, including some in our listening area, to help reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS, as well as accidental smothering. A helpful acronym to remember for safe sleep is B-A-B-Y:
B is for Back: The National Institute of Health states that the back sleep position carries the lowest risk of SIDS.
A is for Alone: While many advocate co-sleeping, most experts agree that this can only be done if proper precautions are taken. Anything that could cause you to sleep more soundly than usual or that alters your sleep patterns can affect your baby’s safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a separate but close sleeping environment, such as a bassinet in the same room. Alone also means without soft bedding or stuffed animals. These increase the risk of suffocation. If you are worried about the baby getting cold, use a wearable blanket or sleep sac.
B is for Boxinette: Baby boxes have been proven to provide the baby with somewhere to sleep other than the parents' bed and therefore reduce the number of deaths linked to suffocation. Whether or not you use a baby box, it is important that babies sleep on a firm surface.
Y is for Year One: Until their first birthday, babies should sleep on their backs for all sleep times—for naps and at night. SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies one month to one year of age.