It has been over a month since the story of Sloan DeRosier began to make its way around the globe. Beautiful Sloan was found unresponsive in his crib by his mother on the morning of July 3, 2017-something no parent should ever have to go through. Sloan had become tangled in a blanket while he slept and passed in his sleep. Jordan, Sloan’s mamma, has been brave enough to speak out & share the story of her son’s death in hopes of raising awareness and to save the lives of many others.
I was one of those parents who thought “It will be okay. She is mobile, she will be fine with a blanket”, and for 5 months Lia slept with a very large blanket in her crib. The moment I learned of Sloan’s story I told Marcos we were removing them. He thought I was crazy and would somehow intervene with her sleep. The last thing I was worried about was sleep! The days following I hardly slept. I have been staying up to make sure she is okay. I have shared Sloan’s story & Jordan’s words over and over hoping to share it and raise awareness, this is Jordan’s goal. Together Jordan & Sloan are educating families & saving the world one baby at a time. She has been so brave & open during these difficult times for us and our little ones, and I wanted to do my part in spreading Sloan’s Light.
Why do babies need blankets?
Well…they don’t. For some , it’s a cultural thing. The Mexican culture, my culture, insists on thick and heavy blankets with this idea that the baby will be cold.
Some parents believe their babies will be cold at night & if they’re asleep-how will they know? So to prevent it we are quick to lay a blanket over them
Then there are those like me-handing their babes blankets for comfort. Lia became so used to sleeping with her blanket she would hold it all night & we thought she needed it to fall asleep. It turns out she does not need it and has been able to sleep fine without it. Babes are resilient and with a couple of days can adjust to any changes! The first night she slept without her blanket was the first time she had slept longer than 3 hours…in 7 months.
They are cute-have you ever been to a baby shower where people don’t gift blankets? No, neither have I! So many cute styles and fabrics out there I was guilty of swooning over a cute blanket before too. There are so many cute designs and prints that blankets have become an accessory to an outfit.
So what do you do if you think your baby needs a blanket because they will be cold? You dress them warmly. I have found that Lia sleeps just fine in Summer weather with socks, onesie, and thin pants. Right now of course, we are in the middle of summer, however if you live in a colder area you can avoid blankets with the right amount of layers for your babe. Your baby should be dressed in no more than one layer more than you. In winter my go to will be: a onesie, either pants or footie pjs, and socks. It is also recommended by the AAP that you avoid overheating your baby.
Another very popular option is to use a sleep sack. Many babies still like the secure and tight feeling. Sleep sacks are great and vary in sizes from newborn to toddlers. During the hot summer days, or if your baby gets warm easily you can find muslin sleep sacks for your babies.
What is Okay to Have in My Babies Crib?
Absolutely nothing more than a crib sheet. Let me give you a quick and easy way to remember this. It’s called the ABC’s of sleeping safety.
The only item allowed is a tight fitting crib sheet. No blankets, just dress them in layers if needed. No pillows-babies don’t need them. No bumpers-even if your crib setting has it and you think it brings your nursery decor together don’t do it. There is no actual need for bumpers. Some people encourage bumpers because they say babies getting their legs stuck and get hurt. However, the risk of them getting hurt by becoming stuck is significantly lower than that of SIDS with a bumper. I know there are now breathable mesh liners that are designed to help prevent SIDS and becoming stuck. The American Academy of Pediatrics still says NO to these. No stuffed animals-even lovies can be considered a hazard. Although the AAP recommends this to be done up to a year there is no actual research showing the right age for these items to be with them.
On their Back
Place your baby to sleep on his/her back every night. Once your baby begins to roll onto their side or tummy it is okay to leave them in that position as long as they can roll themselves back, according to AAP.
In their Crib
Your baby should be placed in either their crib, bassinet, or play yard with a firm mattress. Make sure your baby gear meets current safety standards. Avoid soft surfaces such as your couch. If your baby falls asleep in their car seat, swing, stroller, carrier, etc. the AAP recommends they are moved to a firm sleep surface as soon as you can. Do not leave your baby to sleep in their car seat, the sitting position is not optimal for leaving their breathing airways open.
There is of course the whole co-sleeping dilemma, but I will not dabble into that right this second. For all my crib sleeping parents-following these helps to lower the risk of SIDS.
How Can You Help?
What if you don’t have a baby yourself? Or simply you just want to help spread awareness? It seems we don’t talk enough about safety & our babies. We live in a community where sharing information can be taken as being shamed, so many of us are nervous to reach out. Finding the right wording to let educate a parent on this issue is crucial. After asking a few mother’s around about how they have handled this I have a few tips and suggestions.
- ALWAYS remind them they are good parents and you are not judging them
- Let them know you just want their baby to be safe
- Reassure them they are not alone in not knowing this information
- Refer them to popular crib safety sites or articles
- Share crib safety articles on your social media for everyone to see. Sloan’s family has created a Facebook page in his name to raising awareness- Sloan’s Light
Together, we can all help educate the many parents out there who like so many of us have always thought “it won’t happen to me”. I invite you all to join Jordan & Sloan in spreading the light & raising awareness. I have made a vow in his name to continue to spread information on crib safety recommendations to all those around me. Sloan’s life has saved Lia’s and for that I am eternally grateful to him & his whole family. They have endured the most trying of times & have mustered up the courage to speak out for us, for our kids. Join Sloan’s Slight & help us all make his life save thousands of others. Thank you DeRosier Family & thank you Sloan.
All images used & content included was included with the permission of Jordan DeRosier-Thank you for allowing me this honor of spreading his story