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Safe Harbor becomes Baby Box distributor

Safe Harbor has recently become a distributor of the Baby Box, a program designed to teach women and their partners about early childhood care.

The box itself is a cardboard box with a soft mattress inside for infants to sleep on.

“I meet quarterly with other executive directors of centers like ours. We were meeting and one of the other directors had brought up the subject of the Baby Box program and said that they were going to be a distributor,” said Jennifer Dobbs, executive director of Safe Harbor. “She filled us in on all the information about what it was and what the benefits were to the community. The board and I decided that we wanted to be a distributer of it too.”

Dobbs said that Dallas County has a high infant mortality rate, and she is hoping to change that by providing people with the Baby Box.

“Dallas County has a really high infant mortality rate, and one of the causes of SIDS can be sleeping in the bed with mom,” Dobbs said. “What we want to do, the box is sturdy enough, if they’re going to put that baby in the bed, have that baby in that box for safe sleeping.”

Dobbs said another example of common causes of SIDS is items that parents place in the bed with the baby. But with the box, they encourage putting nothing in the box with the baby. Only the mattress should be inside while the baby is sleeping.

“What moms tend to do is they put bumper pads, blankets, stuffed animals all in the bed with the baby, and SIDS is attributed to that,” Dobbs said. “I think the benefit of the Baby Box is it promotes safe sleeping.”

Safe Harbor is a free resource to women in the community from pregnancy testing to ultrasounds, options counseling and even parenting classes, Earn While You Learn where the women can earn points to put toward baby items. They have also partnered with Lifeline Children’s Services, an adoption agency out of Birmingham to offer that resource to patients.

Dobbs said she is hoping to use this as another resource for moms-to-be and even incorporate it into some of the classes they offer.

Those interested in the Baby Box can go online to babyboxuniversity.com and watch the online courses and take a quiz to receive a certificate for the box or participate in the classes at Safe Harbor.

“We’re going to incorporate them into our parenting classes. For those people that don’t have access to a computer, we’re going to do them during our parenting classes,” Dobbs said.

“It’s a free resource for those that can’t afford baby beds or basinets. It’s a free safe sleeping space for babies.”

For more information, Safe Harbor can be reached at (334) 875-8900.