NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — October starts a conversation to talk about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or what’s also known as “SIDS.”

In central Illinois, Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal is nationally certified when it comes to safe infant sleep.

Second-time parents Danny and Jennifer Worth said even with an almost four-year-old at home, getting a refresher on safe sleep practices puts their growing family on the right track.

“Baby’s #1,” said Danny Worth referring to their newborn daughter, Sawyer. “You want to do everything you can to keep him or her safe.”

“It’s important for us to know that she’s sleeping safely because then that gives us peace of mind that we can sleep and get some hours in when we need them as well and know that she’s going to be taken care of,” said Jennifer Worth. “We’re happy and she’s happy because everyone’s gotten some sleep that night.”

Jennifer had Sawyer at Carle BroMenn. She said safe sleep helps provide peace of mind.

“The baby’s going to sleep better,” said Jennifer. “You’re going to sleep better and everyone’s going to end up happier in the end because you’re following those rules and it’s really simple to do that at your house so it’s important to take the time to learn.”

“We were provided a good refresher once we got to the hospital from the staff here,” said Danny. “They’ve implemented a lot of new [things]. There’s a name card with reminders for ABC (alone, back, crib), and the booklet that was provided to us as parents for a quick reminder on how to put your baby down so that they are safe.”

The hospital is nationally certified for infant safe sleep. A supervisor with the Mother and Baby unit at the hospital said being gold-level certified means the health care system works to prepare every family to practice safe sleep.

“We as a system, find it is very important and that comes with some extra responsibility, right?” said Keli Sidebottom, a supervisor on the Mother & Baby Unit at Carle BroMenn Medical Center. “We have to make sure we have a policy that speaks to safe sleep. We provide not only education and training to our staff but to all of our families. We reach out to the community and we also supply safe sleep to the community.”

DOs and DON’Ts in Preventing SIDS

According to Carle Health:

  • DO put babies to sleep on their back
  • DO put babies to sleep in a crib (never in bed with other children or adults) let babies sleep in the same room as parents
  • DO offer babies pacifiers at nap time and bedtime, but don’t force babies to use them
  • DO keep babies in smoke-free environments
  • DO breastfeed, if possible
  • DO visit the health care provider for prenatal care and take your baby for regular well-baby checkups
  • DO look for help from a SIDS support group
  • DON’T put babies to sleep on their stomachs or sides
  • DON’T put babies to sleep on surfaces other than cribs, such as sofas
  • DON’T use soft bedding, pillows, comforters, or quilts
  • DON’T make the baby’s room too hot

Sidebottom says when a baby sleeps in the same room as their caregiver, “that allows the new parent to bond with their baby, to learn their baby’s cues, and to have convenience to have baby right there, but in a safe sleep environment so separate from their bed.”

October is also Infant Loss Awareness Month.

On the 15th, Carle BroMenn will host a Shining Light Memorial Service and Walk to Remember. It’s to honor and remember infants who have died while helping to support parents navigating loss.

The event is from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Chapel Garden at Carle BroMenn Medical Center located at 1304 Franklin Ave., in Normal.