Sleep Safely Campaign

Unsafe sleeping arrangements are a leading cause of preventable infant deaths in Allen County.

To address this, St. Joe Foundation is working with our many community partners in the Prenatal & Infant Care Network on a community-wide Sleep Safely Campaign.  This campaign will help ensure that Allen County Parents who have a baby in 2021 will know:

  • Babies should sleep alone in a safety-approved environment with a tightly fitted sheet up to 1 year of
  • Babies sleep safest on their backs. They should not sleep on their side or
  • Nothing and no one should be in the baby’s sleep area/crib.

Also, that all Allen County Babies will have their own crib or pack-and-play to safely sleep.

Key strategies include:

  • Raising funds for cribs/pack-n-plays
  • Adapting a common “Safe Sleep Curriculum” by community professionals
  • Training local pregnancy resources providers and childcares to teach new parents “Safe Sleep” strategies when providing the pack-n-plays

If you want to support the effort, please consider:

  • Becoming a Sleep Safely Ambassador: This is a community volunteer that has completed the cribs-for-kids online training and a training event at one of the community’s partnering sites. The Ambassador educates on safe sleep at churches, community centers, gift shops, etc. using the curriculum and one-page handout.  For more details, email
  • Making a Donation to provide a crib, essential items, and safe sleep education for one at-risk infant in greater Fort Wayne.

For more information or to join the campaign, contact Meg Distler at or Laura Dwire at

Photo by Kristi Hosier Photography for Healthier Moms and Babies
Building a community wide effort to assure all babies have a safe place to sleep, combating SUIDs

By Angela Stanley

Indiana’s infant mortality rate has been under the microscope in recent years as parts of the state, like Allen County, continuously rank higher than the national average. Birth defects, prematurity and low birth weight, and maternal health are all leading causes of infant mortality, but one of the most difficult causes of death for parents and healthcare providers is when a seemingly healthy baby dies unexpectedly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is a term used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby less than 1 year old in which the cause was not obvious before investigation.” Often these types of deaths happen because of unsafe sleep practices.