Healthy Babies

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Real People ... Real Stories

“I fell asleep next to my baby in my bed and she never woke up…” – ShawNaye

Sleep-related infant death is a leading cause of infant mortality in Franklin County. These deaths are preventable.

If you have lost a pregnancy or infant, find local grief resources here.

Safe Sleep

On average a baby dies every other week in our community due to unsafe sleep practices. Sleep-related deaths are a leading cause of death for babies who are one month to one year and a major reason for Franklin County’s high infant mortality rate.

Too many babies die in unsafe sleep environments, and many of these deaths are preventable. To do so, remember the ABCs of safe sleep:

Babies should always sleep alone and in an empty crib. Two out of three babies who died while sleeping were not sleeping alone and were on an adult bed, couch or chair. Share the room, not the bed. This helps to breastfeed and bond with your baby.
Babies should always sleep on their backs because they are less likely to choke than babies who sleep on their stomachs. Babies who sleep on their backs are also able to breath easier.
An empty crib, with a firm mattress and fitted sheet is safest. Bumper pads, pillows, blankets or stuffed animals should not be in the crib as they may cause babies to suffocate or strangle themselves.
Campaign Materials

View and download the following educational materials:

Real People … Real Stories Posters

For more information on Safe Sleep visit Columbus Public Health.

Need a crib?

Columbus Public Health can help. Call 614-645-3111.


Click here to become a CelebrateOne Safe Sleep Ambassador to start saving Columbus babies today

Additional infant safe sleep information, including local data, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep recommendations, and presentations tailored for specific audiences such as nurses, childcare providers, and safety professionals/first responders.

Safe Sleep Resources and Links

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Smoking Cessation

Smoking is widely known to be a leading cause of preventable death of infants under the age of 1.

Women who smoke during their pregnancy are more likely than those who don’t to have a baby born too small, too soon or to lose a baby to a sleep-related death. Once a baby is born, exposure to secondhand smoke increases the baby’s chances of a sleep-related death.

Smoking during pregnancy accounts for about 10 percent of all infant deaths.
30 percent of low-birth weight accounted to smoking during pregnancy.
18.5% of mothers in Franklin County smoked before and/or during pregnancy (anytime three months before the pregnancy to delivery).

If you are a mom-to-be, a new mom or are living with a newborn, there are resources to help you quit smoking. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to work on a plan to quit smoking.

View the Franklin County Smoking Cessation Services guide for more information.

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Breastfeeding is an important step in giving our babies a healthy start in life. And it’s estimated that more than 900 infant lives per year may be saved in the United States if 90% of mothers exclusively breastfed for 6 months.

Breast milk helps reduce the risk of illness, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, obesity, and childhood cancers; and helps develop the brain and nervous system. It also benefits the mother. Moms that breastfeed have reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends providing breast milk only for the first six months of a baby’s life, then gradually adding solid foods while continuing breastfeeding until the baby’s first birthday. After that, breastfeeding can be continued, and while it is the mother’s choice – any amount of breast milk is encouraged.

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To help moms to begin and continue exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, it’s recommended that they:

  • Start breastfeeding within the first hour of life
  • Give baby no food or drink other than breast milk, unless there is a medical need
  • Sleep in the same room as the baby, but not the same bed, couch, or chair
  • Breastfeed on demand – that is as often as baby wants, day and night
  • Give no bottles or pacifiers


Support and resources are available to help breastfeeding mothers succeed through programs where they can talk to other moms, support groups, and home visiting programs.

Find Local Support


It’s a big world for babies, and it’s our job to keep them safe.

Car seats can be hard to get in your car the right way, and there are so many ways a baby can be unintentionally injured in a home, especially when you are busy caring for a new baby.

CelebrateOne partners offer help to make sure your world is a safe place for baby.

Find Resources

The First Year Checklist

  • Add your new baby to your health coverage plan
  • Make your post-baby appointment with your doctor
  • Discuss family planning options with your doctor
  • Ensure your baby has a safe place to sleep
  • Remember the ABCs of safe sleep – babies must be alone, on their backs in a crib
  • Protect your baby from second-hand smoke
  • Find a pediatrician in your area for the baby’s first year check ups
  • Get your child vaccinated and keep the records
  • Find safe, reliable childcare
  • Take care of yourself – a healthy mom has a healthy baby
  • Breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months