October 2017 Newsletter – Tackling Challenging Conversations: Safe Sleep

Most states require early care and education providers to take training on safe sleep environments. This means that you may have more information about the topic than parents and family members.

  • Gather resources – Share pamphlets (available here) and other information. Post the information, share in an email, and provide the materials in person.
  • Recognize that family history and culture may play a role in a family’s child-rearing decisions. Approach the subject in a way that allows you to share the newest information and research with the family.
  • Gently address the fallacy of the logic that states “I put all my babies on their stomachs to sleep and nothing bad happened.” Validate the fact that you understand that the family just wants their children to sleep comfortably, but you cannot take that risk, based on the most recent information that is available.
  • Let parents know that you make decisions about safe sleep policies based on scientific research. Talk about the steps you are taking to reduce as many risk factors as possible in the early learning environment – because your goal is to keep children safe at all times.
  • Provide sample scripts for how parents can talk with grandparents and other familial caregivers about the importance of creating safe sleep environments.

FYI – October is SIDS Awareness Month. Find more resources here: