Program Spotlight: Straight Talk For Infant Safe Sleep

While the rate of infant mortality due to SIDS has been declining, the rates for non-Hispanic Black infants are still twice as high as that for non-Hispanic White infants.  Additionally, the rate for other sleep-related infant deaths is more than three times that of non-Hispanic white infants.


In response to these staggering statistics, First Candle has developed Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep. Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep is a program that trains and fosters a collaboration between community leaders, social workers, public health providers and hospitals to educate new and expectant parents on how and why to create a safe sleep environment for their baby.

The program is conducted by our Director of Programs & Education, Barb Himes, on-site and is comprised of the following components:

  • Needs assessment to identify gaps in education
  • Overview of latest evidence-based safe sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • Open forum with community leaders to address obstacles of service delivery
  • Organized activity to provide teaching tools that support the Straight Talk approach.

Through role-play, participants gain an understanding of how to create a two-way conversation with parents, to first identify family practices and beliefs, provide accurate information about safe sleep and breastfeeding and gain acceptance of these practices.

Trainees also learn how to help parents create a plan how they can implement safe sleep and breastfeeding that considers their beliefs, values, and living and working situations, so they feel equipped to be successful.


To learn more about this program, or to request a seminar in your community, please email