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Nothing Shall Be Impossible

7 safe sleep guidelines to protect your baby

Despite a major decrease in the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) since 1992, the decline has plateaued according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and other causes of sleep-related death have increased. For Tennessee in 2010, the most recent data available, 131 infants died because they were not put to sleep as safely as they might have been.  

In an effort to combat preventable infant deaths, Baptist Hospital is a proud partner of the Metropolitan Nashville Public Health Department’s Safe Sleep Committee, a subcommittee of the Fetal Infant Mortality Review program. 

The goal of this community action team is to impact the number of unsafe sleep related deaths in infants less than one year of age. The committee membership is composed of representatives from local birthing hospitals and community agencies that focus on infant health. According to the Nashville Child Death Review Annual Report in 2010, 24 percent of the infant deaths reviewed by the Child Death Review Team were determined to be related to unsafe sleep conditions. It is because of this percentage that the Safe Sleep committee has chosen to work with community partners and with the community at large to educate and change the sleep environment for infants. 

Follow these guidelines to help protect your baby: 

  • Always place your baby to sleep alone in the crib or bassinet.
  • Do not place babies to sleep on adult beds, chairs, sofas, waterbeds, pillows or cushions.
  • Cribs should be free of toys, loose blankets, soft bedding, pillows or bumper pads. Put your baby to sleep in a crib with a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet.
  • Cribs should be in an area that is smoke free.
  • Always place your baby to sleep on their backs. Babies sleeping on their sides are more likely to accidentally roll onto their stomach.
  • Consider using a sleepsack swaddle, or wearable swaddling blankets. It can be used to replace a loose blanket that can come unwrapped, cover a baby’s face and interfere with breathing. Baptist Hospital is the first in Nashville to use Halo SleepSack Swaddles exclusively.
  • Talk about safe sleep practices with everyone who cares for your baby, including a child care provider, a family member or a friend.

For more informatino on safe sleep practices, visit The Baby Fair, brought to you by Nashville Parent magazine and Baptist Hospital, Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Baptist Hospital campus, 21st Avenue entrance, in the GSO Education Center. Admission is free. Visit the all new The Baby Fair website at

Baptist Hospital Maternal and Infant Services

Baptist Hospital is a leader in advancing maternal and infant care, focusing on each patient’s unique birth experience. Voted the Best Place to Have a Baby 12 years in a row, Baptist Hospital offers educational classes, lactation support, a team of experienced nurses, physicians and educators, an obstetric hospitalist on site 24/7, a specialized unit for those with difficult or high-risk pregnancies and a Level IIIb Beaman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with a 24-hour in-house neonataologist. Family involvement is encouraged with a mother-baby model of care.  For more information, please visit or call 615-284-BABY (2229). 


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