The safest place for a baby to sleep is on his/her back, in an empty crib (no blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals), ideally in the same room as a parent. These steps are linked to a much lower rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and infant suffocation. Since the National Institute for Health launched the Safe to Sleep campaign (previously called Back to Sleep) in 1994, SIDS deaths have declined 50 percent while rates of back-sleeping have increased. The campaign works with pediatricians and other medical professionals as well as community leaders to communicate the basics of safe sleep and connect families with resources to help address issues they face.
ICS Director of Policy Research Megan Carolan spoke with interior design website Apartment Therapy about intergenerational, extended family housing and the appeal of “granny pods” – small add-on units that allow aging family members to stay close to family. These units can benefit families, including children, but families face policies barriers to using them:
“‘Children also benefit from having a grandparent nearby, as a friend, caregiver, and partner in play, and parents may be able to reduce some of the stress on their own scheduling or the financial pressures of paid childcare by having grandparents so close to pitch in.’
The trouble is, like other forms of tiny living, there are very real barriers to entry. ‘Many communities sharply regulate these accessory dwelling units (ADUs),’ says Carolan. Some communities impose strict regulations, like requiring off-street parking for each unit, and others ban them completely.”
Read the full piece here.