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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

New Wolfson Program Focused On Infant Sleep Safety

Milan Nykodym
Wikimedia Commons

New parents are typically surprised to learn that their babies like to sleep, a lot.In fact, newborns sleep an average of 16 to 17 hours a day. That's valuable time that provides rest and brain development for the rapidly growing child. 

Both how babies sleep and whether they sleep is important to that development.

A new program here on the First Coast is helping parents and caregivers get educated on the topic. 

The initiative, called Ready, Set, Sleep, is funded by Kohl's Cares and offered by THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children's Hospital.

It's designed to remind  moms and dads, grandparents and caregivers of the importance of following safe sleep guidelines for newborns.

"We want to make sure every new parent knows to place their child on his or her back to sleep," says Cindy Dennis, RN, of the THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson's.

Dennis says Kohl's merchandise is available in stores in support of the program.

Here are a few more tips from Ready, Set, Sleep!

  • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.
  • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).  

You can follow Melissa Ross at @MelissainJax

First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Healthsafe sleeppediatricschild healthsleep
Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.