Description: The Washington County Health Department’s Cribs for Kids® program provides free pack and plays for caregivers of infants who do not have a safe place for the infant to sleep and cannot afford a crib or pack and play. WCHD staff also provide education to caregivers about Safe Sleep for infants and connect caregivers to other resources in the community. In Washington County, an average of 3 babies die in their sleep every year. 72% of those cases involved unsafe sleep environments.
Babies should always be placed to sleep alone (without other people or items, including blankets and pillows), on their backs, and in a safety-approved crib (or bassinet or pack and play).
This is a safe sleep environment. The baby is sleeping on his back in a crib with nothing else in it except a fitted sheet. The crib is in the mother’s room so she has easy access to her baby. These things as well as breastfeeding, avoiding tobacco, and receiving regular healthcare during and after pregnancy also reduce a baby’s risk of sudden unexplained infant death, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
What to expect: The primary caregiver will be contacted by phone and asked to complete an intake form. WCHD staff will contact the primary caregiver to determine if the caregiver is eligible to receive a pack and play, educate the caregiver(s) about Safe Sleep for the infant, and provide (if eligible) a pack and play and instructions for using the pack and play. WCHD staff will follow up with the caregiver by phone 1 month later and again when the baby is 6-9 months old.
Eligibility requirements: Caregivers of infants under 1 year who do not have and cannot afford a safety-approved crib or pack and play. Caregivers who only have a sleep area that does not meet safety standards (for example, an old or broken crib) or have one that is no longer safe for the infant (for example, if the infant is over the weight limit for a bassinet) and cannot afford a safe sleep area may also be eligible. Additionally, caregivers of multiple babies (twins, triplets, etc.) who do not have and cannot afford enough cribs for each baby to have its own may also be eligible.
If a caregiver is able to receive a crib from another source, they may not be eligible to receive a crib from this program. Infants who were born substance exposed are able to receive a crib from Bester Community of Hope.
How to enroll: To learn more or sign up, contact Amie.Muraski@maryland.gov or 240-313-3246.
Learn about Safe Sleep:
- Safe Sleep for Your Baby
- What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like?
- Interactive Safe Sleep Environment Room
- Safe Sleep for Your Baby Infographic
- Safe to Sleep
- Safe Sleep Academy
- SIDS Myths and Facts
- American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleep Guidelines
- B’more for Healthy Babies Safe Sleep PSA
- Safe Sleep for Dads PSA
- Babypalooza Safe Sleep Video
- Explanations / Evidence for AAP Safe Sleep Recommendations
- En Español