FORT BENNING, Ga. (WRBL) – According to the CDC , about 3,500 infants die in sleep-related deaths each year and October is Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month. The New Parent Support Program on Fort Benning is raising awareness about infant-related deaths during their safe sleep campaign this year. 

Darlene James-Richardson, the Supervisor for the program, said the program acknowledges safe sleep habits all year but reminds parents of safe habits specifically during October to increase prevention. The program also offers new mothers resources that assists them in those early stages after birth. 

“What we would do for our active duty personnel here is that for all the women that will be delivering within Martin Army Community Hospital, we will provide a safe sleep kit,” said James-Richardson. 

The safe sleep kit includes infant sleeping attire, directions on how to properly place the baby to sleep and location and crib instructions. There is also a play group for new parents every third Thursday of the month where they are taught safe sleeping habits for their infants. 

The program has a partnership with District 7 Public Health and there is a safe sleep committee that sits and discusses precaution and prevention. 

James- Richardson said one of the best ways to prevent infant-related deaths is by practicing the A,B,C’s. The acronym consists of having babies sleep alone in their sleep space, being placed on their back to sleep and always sleeping in a crib with no extra items in it. 

James-Richardson offers co-sleeping alternatives and said placing the baby next to you in a crib or bassinet is a good option for parents who wish to co-sleep. However, placing a baby on their back is essential to making sure they breathe correctly.