Health and Safety for Your New Family

Baby Safety at Home

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Creating a safe environment for your baby can help reduce the risk of Sudden Infact Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation, and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Important facts to know:

  • SIDS is the leading cause of infant death between 1 month and 1 year of age.
  • More than 90 percent of all SIDS deaths occur before babies reach 6 months of age.
  • Risk of SIDS is 3 times higher in babies born with low birth weight.
  • Accidental suffocation is the leading cause of infant injury deaths.
  • Almost every other month an Orange County baby dies while sleeping in an adult bed or sharing a bed with another person.

Safety tips

  • Teach your family and anyone who takes care of your baby to always follow the same safe sleep practices.
  • Follow your health care provider's guidance on your baby’s vaccines and regular checkups.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS.
  • Sleeping in the same room, but in separate beds is the safest. Keep the baby on his back when sleeping.
  • Keep the room temperature comfortable for an adult.
  • Dress your baby in light sleep clothes without blankets in the crib. Use a firm mattress in the crib without any pillows.
  • During wake time spend time to observe your baby on his stomach.

Purple Crying - Caring for a Fussy Baby

Fussiness is part of normal development for every baby. From 2 weeks to 4 months of age babies will have long episodes of inconsolable crying that does not relate to any pain. Nothing seems to help calm a fussy baby even though parents try soothing methods with little relief.

The interventions used to help parents and the baby through this period is to understand that this is a period, which has a beginning and an end.

The acronym PURPLE is used to describe specific characteristics of an infant crying phase. Parents need to involve the baby’s pediatrician to verify there are no other health issues present.

P = Peak of crying. Your baby may cry more each week, the most at 2 months of age, and then less at 3-5 months of age.
U = Unexpected. Crying can come and go and you don't know why.
R = Resists soothing. Your baby may stop crying no matter what you try.
P = Pain-like face. A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not.
L = Long lasting. Crying can last as much as 5 hours a day or more.
E = Evening. Your baby may cry more n the late afternoon and evening.

Substances and Your Baby - Know Your Facts

Beer or a glass of wine

There is no evidence to support drinking alcohol while breastfeeding. Alcohol is passed through the breastmilk. It is proven that one glass of alcohol can delay infant motor development and change sleep patterns. The American Academy of pediatrics (AAP) policy statement on breastfeeding states that alcohol intake should be minimized while nursing. The safe volume of alcohol has not been determined; however, the AAP has established guidelines that aim to minimize the amount of alcohol passed to the baby. More information can be found on the AAP website, AAP.org

A note on smoking

Smoking/vaping is strongly discouraged because of sudden Infant death syndrome (SIDS). Children exposed to smoke are more likely to experience respiratory illnesses, ear infections, asthma, sinus infections and eye irritation. Do not smoke in the presence of children. Always wash your hands and change your shirt after you smoke before handling your baby. Seek assistance with your licensed provider on ways to quit smoking.