• Search | Healthy Mom&Baby
AWHONN | Healthy Mom&Baby

Caregivers & Your Baby’s Safe Sleep

By By Sharon Hitchcock MSN, RNC

Caregivers & Your Baby’s Safe Sleep

Here’s a story worth repeating: William was six weeks old when Grandma first offered to give us a date night’ away from baby. Dinner and a movie. Since she would spend the night, there was no reason for us to rush. She gently offered again at eight weeks and this time my husband insisted. We had to leave our little newborn sometime, he explained, and I was approaching the end of my 12-week maternity leave. Grandma was a wonderful woman and had raised a wonderful son. We couldn’t have asked for a better babysitter.

We were both first-time parents and had vowed not to be over-protective when it came to raising our son. My husband and I went to all the prenatal classes our hospital offered, and though we were a little nervous, we felt well prepared. I tried to not be tense but there seemed to be a lot to worry about!

Leaving our baby with a caregiver

The movie had just begun and my mind wandered to our house. It was 8pm. Was William taking his bottle of breast milk? Was he getting tired and insisting on being held? Would Grandma rock him to sleep in our comfy recliner?

My next thoughts startled me and took me back to our prenatal class on infant safety and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) prevention. In our class, we had thoroughly reviewed the ABCs of safe infant sleep:

A for baby sleeping alone

B for baby sleeping only on his back

C for baby sleeping in a safe crib

Our instructor had implored us to make sure all of our caregivers knew the ABCs of safe sleep as many, especially grandparents, didn’t. I suddenly envisioned William asleep on his stomach, or in the recliner snuggled against a sleeping Grandma!

I elbowed my husband and whispered too loudly, ‘Does Grandma know the ABCs of safe sleep?’ My husband jumped out of his seat, pulling out his cell phone. I was right behind him.

He tried to sound calm as he talked to his mom. All was fine and Grandma graciously agreed to follow the ABC rules. For now, though, they were still busy playing. We were told to go enjoy our movie.

Sharon Hitchcock MSN, is the maternal-newborn educator for Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital and adjunct facility for the University of Arizona College of Nursing in Tucson, AZ.


Ask Nurses | Healthy Mom&Baby

Have a question for our nurses? Get an expert opinion by submitting your question

Submit YOur Question Now
Menu