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.

ALSO SEE: Tips On Keeping Your Baby Safe

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?

SEE ALSO: Cocoon Your Baby

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!

SEE ALSO: How To Deal With A New Baby

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.

After reading ‘Caregivers & Your Baby’s Safe Sleep’ go to our Breastfeeding and Newborn Care sections for many more articles on the care of your baby. Another good section to stop by at is Safety & Childproofing plus do have a look at our Diapering section that is sponsored by Huggies. 


15 Safe Sleep Tips for Baby

ABCs of Safe Baby Sleep

Baby Sleeping Too Much?

Crib Safety: Safer Sleep for Babies

Keep Your Baby Close While Sleeping

Buying The Right Crib For Baby


What is the Best Way to Swaddle My Baby?

When will my baby sleep through the night?

What are the ABC’s of safe sleep for my baby?


Sharon Hitchcock DNP, RNC-MNN, teaches nursing at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. She is passionate about reducing infant mortality and promoting infant safety. She serves on multiple state and national level teams dedicated to educating parents and reducing infant safety-related deaths.

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