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Safe Sleep Heroes

Working together to ensure that every baby lives to see their first birthday. Interested in becoming a Safe Sleep Hero? Text "sleep" to 216-930-3390.

Safe Sleep Heroes

MetroHealth leads First Year Cleveland’s Safe Sleep Heroes, a collective impact initiative to eliminate preventable, sleep related infant death. On average, we lose 20 babies annually to preventable, sleep-related causes.

24-Hour Breastfeeding HelplineParents and caregivers can help by following the ABCDs of Safe Sleep:

Safe sleep is as easy as ABCD 

A.  Alone

  • Nothing and no one else in the sleep space
  • No toys or stuffed animals
  • Baby should never sleep with parents, siblings, pets or anyone else

B.  Back

  • Baby should be placed to sleep on their back
  • A baby is actually at less risk for choking on their back than when on their stomach
  • Babies breathe easier when they are on their backs

C.  Crib

  • Baby should be in a naked crib with only a fitted sheet
  • Never use other bedding or soft items like bumpers, sleep wedges, pillows or blankets

D.  Don’t smoke

  • Secondhand smoke increases the risk of sleep-related death
  • Never smoke in a baby’s environment, even when they are awake!

Breastfeeding is linked to a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome/SIDS. Any amount of breastmilk is beneficial for babies, especially in the first six months. While it is impossible to eliminate the risk of sudden, unexplained infant death, we can reduce the risk of preventable, sleep-related infant death.

ABCD. Know it, do it, share it.


  • Take our brief Safe Sleep Heroes training module and learn the basics of infant safe sleep. 
  • Our online toolkit provides conversation guides, how to create safe sleep environments, breastfeeding as a protective factor and other resources.
  • NAPPS Checklist - National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep. (2017). Modeling safe practices: A checklist for infant sleep & breastfeeding images. Washington, DC: National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health.
  • Toll-free 24/7 Statewide Breastfeeding Hotline is available to everyone across the state. It is operated by The Appalachian Breastfeeding Network and staffed by live, trained lactation professionals. Services are available free of charge to all callers, including mothers, their families and partners, expectant parents, and health care providers.


If you are interested in more information about how you can become a Safe Sleep Hero, text “sleep” to 216-930-3390.

Safe Sleep Sunday Event

Mount Zion Baptist Church participates in preaching the ABCDs of Safe Sleep

Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Oakwood Village was one of dozens of churches across the area who participated in Safe Sleep Sunday in partnership with First Year Cleveland. The Rev. Larry Macon invited his children and grandchildren to join him in preaching the ABCDs of Safe Sleep.

First Year Cleveland leads Safe Sleep Sunday event at Community of Faith Assembly

Natoya Walker Minor, First Year Cleveland Board Member, leads MetroHealth’s Safe Sleep Sunday at Community of Faith Assembly.

Additional resources