Temple gives new moms 'baby boxes' to help newborns sleep safe, sound

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Moms and their newborns will sleep more soundly thanks to a program that's now available at Temple University Hospital.

It provides new mothers with supplies, and even a safe place for their babies to sleep when they go home.

Victoria Mack is one of the first mothers at Temple to receive a "baby box." It's designed to give babies like 2-day-old Reign a safe sleeping environment.

"An infant's sleep frankly should be boring," said Medical Director Dr. Megan Heere, Temple's Well Baby Nursery. "They should sleep alone on their backs, in their crib."

And with nothing inside.

Jennifer Rodriguez, Temple's Director of Nursing, says the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS in Philadelphia is double the national average.

"The biggest cause is co-sleeping. They don't have a safe sleep environment," said Rodriguez. "That's the No. 1 cause of suffocation, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS."

She says Temple will give 3,000 baby boxes and extra supplies to mothers. That's about the number of babies born in a year there.

The hope is it will keep more babies safe.

For new mom Brianna Devero, she says having the box saves her money, and gives her reassurance her baby will be safe while sleeping. She also likes that it's portable.

"You just place him in the box in whatever room you're in, and just keep an eye on him," said Devero of Port Richmond.

Mack, who is now a mom to three, admits it can be tough when you're tired and breastfeeding.

"Sometimes when you have a baby laying up against you, it makes it very easy to fall asleep with the baby," said Mack.

But having the box right next to the bed will make things easier, and safer, for little Reign, helping mom achieve her goal.

"Just to give him the best future that he can possibly have," said Mack.
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