Parents-to-be learn about safe sleep for babies

With their first child due in a few weeks, Abi and Lily are trying to learn as much as they can about caring for a baby. That’s why they recently attended a safe sleep education session at Forest Park Women’s Center. “It’s our first child,” Abi said. “And I’m trying to learn to parent right.”

Ohio Equity Institute (OEI) Peer Advocate Alexia Ball led the class. She explained the ABCs of safe infant sleep and led parents-to-be through activities to help them learn how to set up a safe sleep environment for their babies.

Female instructor teaching group of parents

Abi was not aware of safe sleep and its relationship to infant mortality and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). “It’s something new, that’s what drove me here,” he said.

After learning about safe sleep practices, Abi says there are some changes the couple will make. They will keep stuffed animals and blankets out of the crib, and be careful not to overdress their baby for sleep.

As far as spreading the word about safe sleep, Abi agrees that grandparents and others who are around babies need to hear about it. “You know grandparents want to do it their way…I would let them know this is the right procedure for sleep,” he said. “We’ll have to train them.”

Read more about OEI Peer Advocate Alexia Ball here.

OEI is a statewide program—run locally by Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH)—to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality. HCPH works with Cradle Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Health Department to implement and support infant mortality initiatives in the 45240 and 45225 zip code areas.