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The Unique Way Temple University Hospital Is Making Sure Babies Sleep Safely

By Marcy Norton and Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- North Philadelphia has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, and that's partly because impoverished young parents can't afford all the things a new baby needs, like a safe place to sleep. Now a new Temple University program is making safety as simple as a cardboard box.

Inspired by a program in Finland, the hospital plans to give every new mother this year a Baby Box, which serves as a ready-made bassinet, complete with a small, firm mattress and a sheet, along with baby care tips including the recommendation that babies do not sleep in bed with an adult.

Director of nursing services Jennifer Rodriguez says they started handing out the boxes on Tuesday.

"One mother lives on the third floor, she said it's gonna be great for the living room for her. Another mother adopted a baby, and she just found out, so she didn't have a chance to get anything, so she was in tears, loving the box."

New mom Brianna Devero was the very first baby box recipient. Her five-day-old son Stephen came two weeks early, sporting a full head of dark hair, and mom says none of her supplies were ready to go yet.

"The box is actually a good thing for me to have because I can just place him in there for that night and get everything together, he's actually been in there for the past five days."

Temple expects to hand out 3,000 baby boxes this year.


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