Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators and other professionals that work with expectant and new families often share information and resources on the topic of newborn and infant sleep. This subject always elicits lots of questions and discussion in my childbirth classes from the families. I always make sure to provide resources that clearly demonstrate what constitutes a safe sleep environment, some helpful strategies on getting “enough” sleep with a newborn and how families can reduce the risk of SUID/SID for their infant.
Lamaze International President Robin Elise Weiss, Ph.D recently participated in a Federal SUID/SID Workgroup forum and one of the outcomes of this forum was a Safe Infant Sleep Photo Repository. This collection of images reinforces the American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep recommendations. All of the images are in the public domain, which means that you are free to use them for your blog posts, teaching presentations, classroom posters, websites and other needs as you like. There are plans to increase the diversity of families represented in the images in the near future, to include Native Americans and Native Alaskans.
First Candle’s Safe Sleep Image Guidelines is a useful resource if you are a photographer who takes your own images or you are looking to better understand what type of safe sleep image to use in your work with families. Additionally, if you see images in the media (magazines, websites, commercials, marketing materials, ads, etc.) that are using unsafe sleep images, you can contact First Candle and let them know, so they can contact the appropriate organization and have them replaced with images showing safe sleep environments.
Some of my favorite safe sleep resources include:
- La Leche League International’s Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family including the Safe Sleep 7 infographic.
- Dr. Kathy Kendall-Tackett including her “Safe Sleep for You and Your Baby A Guide for Breastfeeding Families” handout.
- Dr. Helen Ball
- Dr. James McKenna
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol # 6
- Safe to Sleep
Take a moment to review your teaching materials and resources on the topic of safe sleep for new families. Make sure your images model safe sleep practices. Check out the images in the Safe Sleep Image Repository and use them as you like in your classroom, your practice and as you work with families. What families learn from you about safe sleep can help to reduce the tragic death of an infant as a result of being placed in an unsafe sleep environment. How do you talk about safe sleep to your clients and students? Share your favorite resources and teaching ideas on the topic of safe sleep in the comments section below. Would you consider using some of the images available in the Safe Sleep Image Repository? Let us know.