One of the hardest parts about being a parent to a young newborn child is having to leave them with a babysitter or at daycare. For most people who work, this eventual reality comes after their maternity leave is over and their baby is just weeks old. While many people have a family member or even a close trusted friend watch their child, not everyone has this option available.
Childcare is not cheap and people pay top dollar to ensure their kids are being kept safe and watched over by professionals. Parents go to great lengths to find the best day care centers in their area, often researching and visiting them well in advance so they feel comfortable leaving their kids when the time comes. However, even the most highly regarded places can turn out to be skipping corners and doing things wrong, which is never okay when infants and children are affected.
For Deirdre Engle and her husband Jonathan, every parent’s worst nightmare came true when they received a call from the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) back in 2018. The couple were told by DCF that their 6 month old daughter Elora had been put down to sleep in a sleep sack, face down, with the sack pulled very tight around her, and it was secured with an elastic hair band. There were photos of the poor child and wanting to see evidence, they headed straight to DCF to view them.
When Deirdre saw the picture of Elora her heart sank. Her daughter looked so small and was clearly not comfortable in the sleep sack and position she had been put in. After confirming the baby in the photo was Elora her mind immediately started racing and all of the horrible possibilities flashed through her head. She had been leaving her daughter at the day care since she was just 5 weeks old and had grown to trust the caretakers, but now all that went out the window.
According to local new reports, Deirdre was not the only parent who received a call from DCF about the daycare center putting infants in sleep sacks face down, several others were notified as well. She immediately pulled her baby out of the day care and raised the alarm when she spoke to the local news about the incident.
While sleep sacks are considered safer than blankets, this is only when they are used correctly. What the day care provider did, using a hair tie to secure it in the back and laying the infant face down on their belly, was just plain wrong. Furthermore, swaddling is not allowed at day care centers. Only parents can swaddle their child at home because babies risk rolling over on their tummies and they should always be placed on their back when wrapped up like that. For more information on how to properly use a sleep sack to swaddle a baby please refer to the video and be sure to always watch them close.
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