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It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year! With the final countdown on, many are focused on picking up the last few gifts on their list, finding ingredients for their favorite holiday dish and tying the perfect bows on presents under the tree. But if you are heading out of town with a baby (0-12 months old), it’s crucial you have “a safe sleep environment” on your list and that you check it twice!

Each year, about 100 infants in Louisiana die from (SUID) sudden unexpected infant death and (SIDS) sudden infant death syndrome. Many of these deaths are due to accidental sleep-related suffocation while the infant is sleeping in an unsafe environment. Babies should always be put to bed alone, on their back, in a crib– even when you are traveling this holiday season. 

Here are a few tips to help give your baby the gift of a safe sleep environment:

  • Pack a Portable Crib. While you can’t bring your whole crib setup, a portable crib, like a pack-in-play, can easily be packed, set-up and taken down, and conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Keep Baby’s Space Clutter Free. Keep loose objects, soft toys, and bedding out of the baby’s sleep area. Do not use pillows and blankets in a baby’s sleeping area.
  • Teach Everyone the ABCs of Safe Sleep. A family member or friend may volunteer to put the baby down on an adult bed, and while the intention is good-hearted, remind everyone that baby always needs to sleep Alone, on their Back, in a Crib.
  • Avoid Beds. Putting a baby down for a nap on an adult bed may seem convenient and harmless, but babies can suffocate in a bed that is too soft and roll off.
  • Avoid Vintage Cribs or older Playpens. Relatives may offer you a crib or playpen, but many older-models lack safety features, making them a serious risk. Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recall Tool before using.
  • Stay in a Smoke-Free Home or Hotel. Smoke in the infant’s environment after birth are major risk factors for SIDS. Help your baby avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Continue Breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, try to continue doing so during the holiday season. Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS. 

For any questions or additional information on safe sleep visit our website or contact a Woman’s Social Worker at 225-924-8456.

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