September is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month

In the State of Michigan, more than 140 babies die every year because of an unsafe sleeping environment.

These heart wrenching deaths are, for the most part, preventable and result from babies sleeping in an adult bed or on surfaces such as couches, arm chairs or with big kids or adults.

In an effort to raise awareness and increase efforts to decrease these tragic incidents, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer designated September as Infant Safe Sleep Month.

“The most important thing parents should know is that many of these instances are preventable,” said Rose Mrosewske, an educator at the McLaren Macomb Family Birthing Center. “This means education is incredibly important. The more parents know about this issue and how to best take preventive measures, the lower the instance that they may experience this heartbreaking incident.”

Occurrences associated with infant safe sleep incidents are different from SIDS. Parents can protect against these incidents by taking precautionary steps through creating a safe sleeping environment for their infant.

The safest environment for a baby to sleep in is a firm mattress free of blankets, pillows and other items (they should be dressed appropriately to avoid overheating). Babies should be placed in a crib or bassinet in the parent’s room, but separate from the parent’s bed.

The baby should also be laying in the safest position. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be positioned on his or her back while sleeping.

In addition to the parents, siblings, grandparents, other relatives of the child and anyone who may be caring for the baby should be educated in infant safe sleep best practices.

Additional resources for parents and children can be found at

Sign-up for McLaren Macomb Family Birthing Center classes here.