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Carle’s three birthing hospitals achieve Safe Sleep Gold Level certification

Carle’s three birthing hospitals achieve Safe Sleep Gold Level certification
There are few things more peaceful than watching a sleeping baby. Little lip quivers, involuntary smiles and soft sleep-talking sounds can melt hearts. So fragile and helpless, their birth can bring out a level of protectiveness new parents never even realized existed.

Protection in a baby’s first year means paying close attention to more than how much they sleep but also to how they sleep. Around 3,500 babies in the United States die suddenly and unexpectedly while they're sleeping. “Getting babies and parents off to a solid start is essential,” Keli Sidebottom, RN, nurse supervisor, Carle BroMenn Medical Center Mother/Baby Unit says.   “Through generous donations to Carle Health Center for Philanthropy, expectant parents choosing Carle BroMenn Medical Center for their labor and delivery are gifted a sleep sack.  Providing parents with a sleep sack also known as a wearable blanket is part of what we do to help assure our patients leave the hospital with the knowledge and the tools they need to create a healthy sleep environment for their infants.”

In fact, the commitment to providing new families with education on infant safe sleep and adhering to best practices is a level of patient care and concern that comes standard at hospitals in the Carle system. Whether delivering at Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana or Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney, each was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program for reaching the Gold Safe Sleep Champion designation created by Cribs for Kids® -- the only national infant safe sleep organization.

The certification recognizes the three hospitals for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and providing training programs for healthcare team members, and safe sleep education to family and caregivers.

“Achieving this designation represents a great deal of work and effort from our clinical teams, as well as Carle’s commitment to evidence-based practices that have meaningful outcomes for even our smallest patients,” Kayla Banks, vice president, Women’s, Children’s and Diagnostic Services, Carle Foundation Hospital shares. “This standardizes best practices across our hospitals offering inpatient obstetrics services and highlights the importance of safe sleep practices to ensure parents can learn how to keep their infants safe once they go home.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a safe sleep environment to reduce the risk of all sleep-related deaths. “We assure a safe sleep environment at the hospital,” Stephanie Wollenberg, nurse manager, Carle BroMenn Mother Baby Unit explains.  “By modeling safe sleep in the hospital along with the education we provide to families is part of what led to being named a Gold Safe Sleep Champion hospital.”

From their first day home until their first birthdays, safe infant sleep includes the following safe practices for every sleep:
  • Babies should sleep on their backs for every sleep
  • Babies should sleep on a flat surface in a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitted sheet but no blankets, quilts, stuffed toys, or other items 
  • Babies should sleep alone in a safety-approved sleep area and can share a room with parents or caregivers, but not the bed
Sidebottom shares, “Being too warm while sleeping can increase a baby's risk of harm too. Using a wearable blanket made with a breathable fabric can keep babies comfy and warm without overheating them.  In addition, using a sleep sack is an easy way to avoid loose blankets that can accidentally cover a baby’s face and interfere with breathing.”

Last April, Carle Health Center for Philanthropy raised more than $185,000 for the Mother Baby Unit at Carle BroMenn through its signature fundraiser in the Bloomington-Normal area -- A Taste of Derby: Fashionably Neat. The additional resources are enabling Carle BroMenn to distribute sleep sacks and ensure every baby has a safe sleep space, enhance education and provide expanded resources for parents, as well as additional training opportunities for staff.

“Parents and caregivers can count on Carle. This certification is an important step in our efforts to provide the evidence-based information needed to ensure their babies sleep safely from day one,” says Banks. “When they walk through our doors they can have confidence that Carle is following best practices to keep their infants safe, and has the resources needed to help them do the same when they go home.”

Parents with questions about their infant’s sleep should contact their pediatrician for guidance. To learn more about national safe sleep certification visit our

Categories: Culture of Quality

Tags: Bloomington-Normal, , Champaign-Urbana, , Obstetrics, Olney, Safe Sleep,