Box sleep­ing best for baby

Lo­cal cen­tre dis­tribut­ing boxes to en­sure new­borns sleep in safe, com­fort­able set­ting

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - BRUCE BELL

It might seem a lit­tle strange, but putting the baby in a box may al­low your new­born to sleep out­side of harm’s way.

The Belleville Preg­nancy & Fam­ily Care Cen­tre is now dis­tribut­ing baby boxes to new par­ents in a pro­gram mir­ror­ing an ef­fort that started in Fin­land more than 75 years ago.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Heather Tapp said putting new­borns into card­board boxes is all about pro­vid­ing a safe en­vi­ron­ment, de­void of clut­ter, for ba­bies to sleep in.

“We be­came a dis­trib­u­tor be­cause our ser­vices pro­vide care for those in cri­sis preg­nancy, but also par­ent­ing and after the baby is here, giv­ing sup­port and we have seen a real need for a safe sleep bed space,” she ex­plained. “We thought this would be a great idea to bring this in – it is Canada Cribs Cra­dle Bassinet Reg­u­la­tions ap­proved and we rec­om­mend they uti­lize it in a firm lo­ca­tion or on the floor. They should not be car­ry­ing the box around with the baby in it or putting the lid on while the baby sleeps. We also tell par­ents to buy a crib if they can be­cause the baby will out­grow this in three months.”

The box comes with a small mat­tress and sheet and Tapp said peo­ple should avoid any clut­ter in a new­born’s sleep­ing space by elim­i­nat­ing bumper pads or stuffed toys which can po­ten­tially im­pede a baby’s breath­ing. Also in­cluded are a small pack of di­a­pers, sham­poo and other use­ful prod­ucts for a new­born. Tapp and her staff also pack Safe Sleep for Your Baby from Health Canada and car seat safety in each box.

“We reach a lot of peo­ple who are in cri­sis with preg­nancy, but this pro­gram is for any­one,” she ex­plained. “There’s ab­so­lutely no cost to par­ents, this is just some­thing we saw a fit with and thought it would help en­hance safety with ba­bies.”

Tapp said the cen­tre is now 27 years old with satel­lite of­fices in Madoc and Trenton and pro­vides a host of pro­grams in ad­di­tion to the baby box ini­tia­tive.

“Ba­si­cally we reach out to those fac­ing an un­planned preg­nancy and we pro­vide op­tions, ed­u­ca­tion... We talk with the clients about the dif­fer­ent ways we can sup­port them. We are a Chris­tian or­ga­ni­za­tion and don’t make re­fer­rals for abor­tion, but we are here be­cause we care about them and want to help. We pro­vide par­ent­ing cour­ses, we pro­vide pre­na­tal and post­na­tal pro­grams, a fathers’ pro­gram, post-abor­tion care be­cause they need sup­port.”

She said the or­ga­ni­za­tion runs a suc­cess­ful school pro­gram with staff en­gag­ing young stu­dents about de­ci­sion mak­ing, fu­ture goals and ab­sti­nence.

“We just try to en­gage and in­ter­act with them in a way so they are bet­ter pre­pared to make pos­i­tive de­ci­sions and choices,” Tapp said.

To pick up a box, ex­pect­ing or new par­ents can go to the baby box univer­sity web­site (www.baby­box­u­ni­ver­sity.com) – do a pre-na­tal syl­labus with aprrox­i­mately 13 clips and, once the short quiz at the end is com­pleted, can print out a cer­tifi­cate to bring to the Belleville Preg­nancy & Fam­ily Care Cen­tre at 200 Dun­das St. East in Belleville.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Belleville Preg­nancy & Fam­ily Care Cen­tre, visit www.bpfcc.ca

BRUCE BELL/THE INTELLIGENCER

The Belleville Preg­nancy & Fam­ily Care Cen­tre is now the lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor for baby boxes, a safe sleep­ing space for new­borns. Pic­tured with one of the boxes are (from left) Marg Kew, Heather Tapp and Darla Keene at the Belleville of­fice.

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