HELENA — Several agencies, including the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services and Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies of Montana announced on Wednesday the Safe Sleep Initiative.
The new program encourages evidence-based safe sleep practices for infants. It also provides educational materials to families across Montana.
The program is a result of meetings with stakeholders and focus groups with Montana families.
According to Brie Oliver, the director of Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, improper sleeping habits is the leading cause of deaths in Montana infants.
"We wanted parents to really think and learn and make decisions for themselves about safety, and understand that there are things they can do every single day if they are thinking about it that can help keep their baby safe during sleep, and help them rest well too," says Oliver.
The organization said they are offering free printing for a limited time of the Safe Sleep campaign for pediatric clinics, family support non-profits, or anyone who wishes to teach about Safe Sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
- Placing your baby on their back on a firm surface, such as in a crib
- Having your baby sleep in the same room with you but on a separate surface for the first 6–12 months of life
- Making sure there are no blankets, pillows, toys, or other items in your baby’s sleeping area
- Offering a pacifier, without any strings, stuffies, or attachments to them, at naptime and bedtime