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Ask the Expert: What is a "safer way to sleep" for babies?

St. Elizabeth Healthcare encourages parents to take part in National Safe Sleep Program (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A new campaign to save babies lives is being embraced by hospitals all across the country.

The “Safer Way to Sleep” campaign gets rid of the traditional pink and blue blankets which have lined nurseries for years.

There is nothing Cameron’s parents want more for their healthy newborn than a healthy future.

So before he goes home to be with his big sister, Vivian, and the rest of the family, mom and dad get a lesson in how to sleep like a baby-- “Safely sleep” that is.

“Every five days a baby dies from a sleep related death in the state of Kentucky, which is really unfortunate,” said Tabatha Middle, a health educator.

Middle is a maternal child health education specialist. She's part of a national push at Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Northern Kentucky and across the rest of the country supporting this campaign. It says that not only should babies sleep on their backs and in a crib, but also that they don't have any blankets or stuffed animals or any other objects inside of the crib with them.

Another part of the campaign is saying “yes” to these swaddling sleep sacks.

“The blankets become loose and can then go over the top of the babies face which then of course poses a suffocation hazard,” said Middle.

“Sleep sacks” can't do that.

So what should you do then with all those blankets you get when a baby is born? They are beautiful and may come from grandma and grandpa, maybe even handmade. It’s important to know about that, too, so little Cameron makes sure he sleeps safely all the time. It’s great to lay down on the floor and make sure babies are getting tummy time while they are awake, to encourage strengthening of their neck muscles and things like that. But be sure that when a baby is going into a crib to sleep he or she is not having any blankets loose or otherwise in the crib with them.

Since this campaign started across the country, it's had a significant role in the reduction of sleep-related deaths.

You can find a link to their educational video here.

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