Sleep Tight Campaign Helps Babies Sleep Safely, One Crib at a Time
Imagine the stress of having to choose between paying your rent and buying a crib for your baby. It’s a difficult dilemma faced by some low-income families — one that can have tragic consequences for children in our community — according to Kara Spedding, Manager of Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto’s Hope for Children Fund.
“Providing a safe sleep environment is vital to infants’ health and wellbeing. In fact, in 2013, 36 infants died in Ontario due to unsafe sleeping conditions. Unfortunately, the high cost of living in Toronto puts purchasing a new crib out of reach for some families,” says Ms. Spedding. “We have launched our second annual Sleep Tight campaign to help ensure that no parent has to put their child to sleep in a stroller or car seat because they can’t afford a crib.”
The goal of the Sleep Tight campaign is to raise $50,000 to purchase cribs for low-income families who are receiving services from the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS). Funds raised during last year’s campaign helped 114 families, including Joyce*, a single mother who was struggling to raise a toddler and her eight-month old baby.
After reaching out to CCAS for help, Joyce was visited by a CCAS intake worker and a health specialist who discovered that her baby was sleeping in her bed because she couldn’t afford to buy a crib. Knowing this was a serious safety issue, they immediately referred Joyce to the Hope for Children Fund.
In a matter of weeks, a new crib was delivered to Joyce’s apartment. It took a while for her and the baby to adjust to the crib, but they are now both sleeping soundly through the night. “I had to plan out a whole routine, but it was worth the effort to know that my baby is safe,” says Joyce.
The campaign runs until the end of May. To make a donation to the Sleep Tight campaign, visit www.hopeforchildren.ca or call 416-395-1634.
* Name has been changed to protect privacy.
Safe Sleeping Tips for your Baby
• Never share your bed with your baby when you are sleeping.
• Babies should always sleep alone in a crib close to your bed.
• Place your baby on his/her back to sleep until one year of age.
• Don’t use pillows, crib bumper pads, blankets, duvets or quilts (especially adult bed-covers), on or under your baby.
• Keep toys/stuffed animals out of the crib.
• Place your baby on a firm mattress in a crib (do not use a sleeping surface that wasn’t designed or approved for infant sleep).
• Keep your baby’s room cool (about 18°C, or 65°F) when he /she is sleeping.
• Do not overdress or overheat your baby, especially if he /she is ill.
• Keep your baby away from cigarette smoke.
• Tell other caregivers (parents, aunts, babysitters, etc.) to follow these simple rules.
For more safety tips and other parenting resources, visit www.torontoccas.org.