Skip Navigation

Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCHbest. NPM 7: Injury Hospitilization

MCH Best Logo mother and young girl in pajamas holding hands

Strategy. Community-Based Distribution of Cribs and Safe Sleep Education to Prevent Infant Suffocation

Approach. Provide safe sleep education and distribute cribs at community baby showers to promote safe sleep.

Note: This stragegy is one of a number of evidence-based approaches addressed in NPM 5. Please see a full list of NPM 5: Safe Sleep strategies here.

Return to main MCHbest page >>

Overview. Studies show that crib distribution and safe sleep education programs have positive effects on increasing mother’s knowledge and utilization of safe sleep practices.1, 2

Evidence. Moderate. Community-based crib distribution and education programs appear to be effective in increasing awareness and implementation of safe infant sleep practices. Programs based on this strategy are likely to work. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. Caregivers.

Outcome.  Increased knowledge and utilization of safe sleep practices. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.

Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs for NPM 5: Safe Sleep that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM. You may also want to look at evidence that supports educational programs in other NPM topic areas that can be translated to this specific topic area.

Sample ESMs.Using the approach “Conduct safe sleep training for nurses and/or mothers in maternity wards/NICUs,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework:

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of cribs distributed.
  • Number of community baby showers held.
  • Number of mothers participating in safe sleep education programs.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percent of cribs distributed.
  • Percent of community baby showers held.
  • Percent of mothers participating in safe sleep education programs.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of mothers who showed an increase in knowledge of safe sleep practices after they participated in a safe sleep education program.
  • Number of mothers who reported implementing safe sleep practices.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percent of mothers who showed an increase in knowledge of safe sleep practices after they participated in a safe sleep education program.
  • Percent of mothers who reported implementing safe sleep practices.

Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


References:

1 Ahlers-Schmidt CR, Schunn C, Dempsy M, Blackon S. (2014-A). Evaluation of community baby showers to promote safe sleep. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 7: 1–5.

2 Hauck FR, Tanabe KO, McMurry T, Moon RY. (2015). Evaluation of Bedtime Basics for Babies: A national crib distribution program to reduce the risk of sleep-related sudden infant deaths. Journal of Community Health, 40(3): 457–463.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.