Sterling’s Family Resource Center and Baby Box University are working to raise awareness about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and the Safe to Sleep campaign.

October is Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month. Safe to Sleep is an initiative backed by the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to encourage parents to have their infants sleep on their backs.

Baby Box University works with local organizations to educate parents on safe sleep methods and provide them with the resources needed to implement them. New and expecting parents can join the online platform and complete training, then receive a free Baby Box, which is inspired by a Finnish tradition. These boxes contain a variety of products for newborns and are also furnished with a mattress, making them an ideal first bed.

The Family Resource Center joined the Baby Box program over the summer and has boxes available for Baby Box University members. For more information, contact FRC at (970) 526-2439 or visit www.frcsterling.org.

As part of their efforts to reduce SIDS, which is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age, Baby Box University shares these recommendations from the Safe to Sleep campaign:

• Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.

•Use a firm and flat sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft items in the sleep area.

• Breastfeed your baby if you can.

• Keep your baby in your room close to your bed (but on a separate surface designed for infants, not in your bed).

• Do not put soft objects, toys, crib bumpers, or loose bedding under your baby, over your baby, or anywhere in the sleeping area.

• Do not smoke while pregnant, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby.

Sara Waite: 970-526-9310, swaite@journal-advocate.com