A Triad hospital is equipping new parents with the tools they need to keep their babies safe while sleeping. Women's Hospital in Greensboro is offering starter kits that include what's known as a “baby box.”
It's made from cardboard, open on top, and includes a firm mattress appropriate for a newborn. The box can be used as a sleeper for babies up to five or six months, depending on the size of the child.
Distribution of the boxes is modeled after a program in Finland. For over 80 years, the country has sent each new mother home with a baby box ensuring infants have a safe place to sleep.
Dr. Kaye Gable is a pediatrician with Cone Health who specializes in newborn medicine. She says the first step to safe sleeping is to place a baby on its back. The second is to provide the infant with its own clear area - no pillows or blankets, for example.
“Baby beds got very fluffy and [had] bumper pads and all these things," she says. "And so, we realized that babies were either being suffocated, overlaid or wedged while they were asleep in these unsafe sleep environments and that the majority of those [things] are preventable.”
The starter kit, which includes the baby box, is available by registering online and completing a test on infant care and safe sleep. Boxes are provided by Family Support Network of Central North Carolina.