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Family Matters Blog: Family Advocacy Launches Safe Sleep Campaign

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2011 – It was eight years ago, but I vividly recall the mix of joy and terror I felt after my daughter was born.

An Internet information junkie, I had researched everything from swaddling to feeding to putting my baby to sleep. But, as I’m sure other Web addicts can attest, I soon discovered a host of conflicting and sometimes confusing information.

Sleep was a particularly vexing topic. Should I put her to bed on her back or belly? Can I give her a pillow or blanket? Is it OK to co-sleep? My questions went on and on.

In the Air Force at the time, I was relieved to turn to trusted base resources for clarification and advice, particularly when it involved sleep, for both my baby and myself. And the resources for new and expectant parents are even more abundant and accessible today.

Most recently, the Defense Department’s Family Advocacy Program launched a “Putting Baby Safely to Sleep” campaign to ensure parents have the most current, life-saving information.

The campaign’s cornerstone is a blog for new and expectant parents called “Sleep Like a Baby: The Keys to Infant Slumber.” In the coming months, the blog will include information and links to resources from a variety of subject-matter experts.

Topics will include preparing a nursery, caring for a baby while on the move, managing parental sleep deprivation and fatigue during a deployment cycle, health concerns related to sleep, talking to caregivers and extended family about safe sleep practices and more.

“It is in those first sleep-deprived weeks and months that new parents need good solid information and support in creating safe sleep environments and practices to ensure that everyone gets off to a good start,” wrote Mary Campise, a licensed clinical social worker with the family advocacy program, in the first blog post: “Military Parents: This Blog’s for You.” Add in frequent relocations, deployment cycles and parenting solo due to military operations, and you can see how military moms and dads could use some unique support.”

I encourage our new and expectant moms and dads to follow this blog and stay tuned for information regarding this important campaign. I know I will. Three kids later, and I still have questions!

To comment on this blog, or to read other posts, visit the Family Matters website.

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