By LISA BRITTON
AshLynn Noire Bunch, born at 8:14 a.m. Jan. 6, is one of the first babies of the year to wear a Halo SleepSack at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City. The Birth Center launched the program on Jan. 1, and now use SleepSacks instead of blankets. Also, parents get one to take home.
For the Baker City Herald
Newborns will no longer be swaddled in blankets at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.
Instead, babies will be snug inside a micro-fleece Halo SleepSack Swaddle, which is recommended instead of loose blankets by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“There are multiple hospitals that are pilot programs,” said Sommer Sargent, manager of the Birth Center.
As of Jan. 1, all babies will use a SleepSack at the hospital, and one will be sent home with parents. The design includes two flaps that are folded around the baby in a swaddle and secured with Velcro.
These are newborn size, which fit babies from 6 to 12 pounds.
The SleepSacks designed for hospital use were free as part of the Halo In-Hospital Wearable Blanket program.
A grant from the hospital auxiliary bought 1,000 SleepSacks to be given away. All are cream-colored.
The SleepSacks are a “wearable blanket” designed by Halo Innovations to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by eliminating the need for loose blankets that could cover an infant’s mouth.
According to the Halo website, founder William Schmid began researching sleeping environments after he and his wife lost a daughter to SIDS in 1991.
Sargent said using a SleepSack in the hospital helps reinforce the idea of a safe sleeping environment.
“The whole goal of the hospital program is to promote safe sleep in the hospital,” she said.
Along with the SleepSack, parents are given a pamphlet and door hanger that provide information about “safe sleep for your baby.”
Here are a few “safe sleep” guidelines, provided by First Candle/SIDS Alliance:
• Place baby to sleep on his or her back at naptime and nighttime
• Remove soft bedding and toys for your baby’s sleep area
• Use a crib that meets current safety standards with a firm mattress
• Never put your baby to sleep on a soft surface
• Never dress your baby too warmly — the room should between 68 to 72 degrees (Halo SleepSacks are sleeveless to prevent overheating)
• Never use positioners to prop your baby up or keep him on his back
• Never allow anyone to smoke around your baby
SleepSacks zip from the top down, so the zipper pull is near the baby’s feet. And, since they are zipped in, babies can’t kick off these wearable blankets.
For more information about the SleepSacks, visit the website at www.halosleep.com.