Christiana Hospital now provides a special, new sleeping garment to infants as they leave the hospital. Not only is it comfortable and easy to use—it also helps to keep babies safe.
“These wearable blankets conform to new guidelines for safe sleeping that came out in 2011,” said David Paul, M.D., a neonatologist on Christiana Care’s Medical Staff who chairs the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium.
Dr. Paul said the garment provides the best possible sleeping environment. “By combining the traditional swaddle design at the top with a roomy sack design at the bottom, the blanket can’t be kicked off and potentially choke or smother the infant,” he says. He hopes that this new sleepwear will reduce confusion common among many new parents about how their baby should sleep. “It serves as a safe alternative to blankets.”
Nurses at the hospital will teach parents safe sleep practices as part of the program, according to Pamela Jimenez, RN, MSN, CFNP/CPNP, who championed the new SleepSack initiative at Christiana Care.
“As health care providers, we are responsible for modeling safe sleep,” Jimenez said. She first heard about the wearable blanket at a National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Association annual meeting.
Dr. Paul says having a safe sleepwear product is important during the first six months—the peak time when SIDS is at highest risk to occur. SIDS is the third-leading cause of infant mortality in Delaware.