The Baby 1st Network truly understands the importance of building trust in communities in an effort to improve birth outcomes. We also recognize the importance of providing compassionate and supportive bereavement services to families who have suffered the devastating loss of an infant. Our mission clearly reflects our determination to become a leading resource for infant safe sleep information and training, and a valued collaborator in community efforts to reduce infant mortality.
Recognizing the importance of partnerships, the Baby 1st Network will strive to collaborate with the public and private sector, institutions of higher learning, faith-based and civic organizations, in addition to community-based associations in both rural and urban areas. Through these collaborative efforts and the implementation of SIDS risk-reduction activities, it is anticipated that increased awareness regarding infant safe sleep practices will consequently, reduce the number of infants who die suddenly and unexpectedly from sleep-related causes.
The Baby 1st Network, located in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The organization’s evolution began approximately 36 years ago with five localized support groups throughout the state of Ohio. Collectively, these five support groups decided to come together and to create an entity based on their grass roots efforts. In 1998, the SID Network of Ohio was established with its primary mission to provide support for families who experienced the loss of an infant to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In addition, education and resources was provided in an effort to reduce the risk of SIDS. Over time the organization expanded its efforts to reduce all Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) through the promotion of infant health and wellness, community outreach and education. The organization continued its commitment to providing bereavement services which expanded its support to families who lost a child, up to the age of two.
In 2015, the SID Network embarked on an organization-wide assessment recognizing the changing external environment. Increased infant mortality rates in recent years guided the SID Network into creating specialized programming in diverse communities which resulted in high visibility and diverse funding opportunities. Through a strategic planning process, the Board of Directors determined that it was best to build on the foundation that was laid over 36 years ago. We listened to our constituents and key stakeholders, followed our hearts and determined that the organization’s future lay with building on the success of its existing community outreach programs and the expansion of its bereavement services to previously underserved populations.
The Board of Directors voted to change the name of the organization to the Baby 1st Network. This process of rebranding represents a new direction of enhanced positive, proactive work within our communities beginning October 1st, 2016.