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Safe Sleep for Babies

Sleep-related death is the leading cause of non-natural infant death in Virginia. In 2016 alone, nearly half of all child fatalities of infants up to one year of age were related to unsafe sleep practices, which were either the result of an unsafe sleep surface, co-sleeping, or how the child was placed to sleep.

Simple safe sleep practices all Virginians can follow to reduce the risk of infant sleep related deaths include:

  • Room Sharing, Not Bed Sharing

  • Breastfeeding

  • Laying Baby on a Firm Surface and on Back

  • Environment-Appropriate Clothing

  • Substance-Free and Smoke-Free Environment

  • Object-Free Sleep Space



The Virginia Department of Social Services created the Safe Sleep 365 website to educate parents and caregivers regarding safe sleep practices, which build on the core principles of Alone, Apart and Always. Visit www.SafeSleep365.com today for educational resources, tips and support.



The Virginia Department of Social Services recently announced a new partnership with Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University and The Baby Box Co. to equip Virginia's new and expecting families with safe sleep education. Through the Baby Box program, families will receive a free safe sleep resource and education for all caregivers on important, life-saving sleep practices for infants.

New and expecting parents in Virginia can register to receive a free baby box using the following instructions:

  1. Register for free online at BabyBoxUniversity.com as a Virginia resident.
  2. Watch the 15-20 minute Virginia syllabus at BabyBoxUniversity.com. After taking a short quiz, parents will receive a certificate of completion and then select local pick-up or direct delivery of their Baby Box.
  3. For more immediate receipt, parents should bring their Baby Box University certificate and visit their closest distribution site, which can be found here. If parents select direct delivery, their Baby Box will ship to the address provided at registration on Baby Box University.

Visit http://www.dss.virginia.gov/safe_sleep/babybox.html to learn more.

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