The innovative Baby Box sleep safety program is now available to pregnant women and mothers of newborns in Sussex and Warren Counties. Any pregnant woman or new mother can receive the free Baby Box at Project Self-Sufficiency; recipients need not be Project Self-Sufficiency participants in order to receive the free items.
The boxes, which are lined with a mattress and filled with educational materials and physician-recommend childcare products, are provided through a partnership with the manufacturer and local healthcare and social service organizations. The boxes have been providing a safe sleep space for newborns since the 1930’s; the program is now offered in fifty-two countries.
New Jersey was one of the first states in America to participate in the Baby Box program which has been credited with dramatically reducing infant mortality rates where it has been introduced. The Baby Box Company is currently rolling the program out in all fifty states. Women who would like to receive the free Baby Boxes at Project Self-Sufficiency must complete a prenatal education program prior to obtaining the items.
Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) has been broadly categorized to include Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as well as accidental suffocation or strangulation as a result of overcrowded cribs, bassinets or beds. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the infant mortality rate attributable to sudden unexpected infant death has been declining for years, largely due to physicians’ recommendations that infants be put to sleep on their backs. In 2015, there were approximately 3,700 infant deaths attributed to SUID.
“We are proud to offer the Baby Boxes to parents of newborns at Project Self-Sufficiency,” commented Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of the non-profit organization which offers a wide range of services to families in northwestern New Jersey. “The objective of this program is to teach parents safe sleep practices, and this aligns perfectly with our home visitation programs and other supportive services for young families.”
The Baby Boxes are produced by the Baby Box Company, the only supplier of internationally-tested Baby Boxes, safe-certified for distribution through institutions like hospitals, health care providers and government agencies. To obtain the boxes, parents are invited to register through www.babyboxuniversity.com, and participate in a set of interactive videos and online quizzes regarding infant sleep safety. Upon completion, parents can bring a digital or printed certificate of completion to Project Self-Sufficiency to receive the Baby Box. Project Self-Sufficiency is located at 127 Mill Street, Newton. For more information, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500, or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.