Healthy Native Babies Project (HNBP)

mom and child doing tummy time
Data show that Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID), including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), are disproportionately higher in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities.

  • In 2003, SIDS rates were highest for AI/AN infants, 2.4 times those for non-Hispanic white infants. SIDS rates among AI/AN infants at this time were highest in five Indian Health Service areas in the Northern Tier: Aberdeen, Alaska, Billings, Bemidji, and Portland.
  • From 2011 through 2014, the overall SUID rate per 100,000 live births for AI/AN infants (194.1) was more than twice those of non-Hispanic white infants (83.8).
  • SIDS deaths account for the largest proportion of SUIDs for all racial and ethnic groups, including AI/AN communities.

NICHD—working with representatives from Tribes in the Northern Tier and others who serve AI/AN audiences—launched the HNBP in 2003 to assist local programs in addressing safe infant sleep in AI/AN communities.

The Project was preceded by multiple working group and focus group meetings involving AI/AN stakeholders and federal partners, as well as Tribal Elders and public health experts, to develop a comprehensive approach for how to best reach AI/AN audiences with safe sleep messages. The resulting approach focused on culturally appropriate outreach using community-tailored resources, resource stipends, training sessions, and technical assistance.

In addition to the materials provided later on this page, the following resources from the Project are also available:

NICHD HNBP 2022 Webinars

Webinar 1: Evidence for Helping Babies Sleep Safely in AI/AN Communities

In this first of three webinars, held February 16, 2022, HNBP consultants defined SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, described data specific to AI/AN communities, and discussed challenges and risk and protective factors specific to AI/AN communities, within a context of historical events and resiliency.

NICHD Healthy Native Babies Project 2022, Webinar 1 of 3

Webinar 2: Strategies and Practical Tips for Teaching Safe Infant Sleep in AI/AN Communities

In this second of three webinars, held March 16, 2022, Healthy Native Babies Project consultants discuss approaches for promoting safe sleep practices in AI/AN communities, demonstrate practice activities that integrate tailored messages and approaches for AI/AN communities, and apply insights learned from previous Healthy Native Babies Project outreach efforts.

NICHD Healthy Native Babies Project 2022, Webinar 2 of 3

Webinar 3: Tools for Addressing Safe Infant Sleep in AI/AN Communities

In this third of three webinars, held April 16, 2022, HNBP consultants access and discuss tools and tailored resources for promoting safe infant sleep in AI/AN communities, explain the resources available from the Project, describe social media outreach opportunities and best practices, and share experiences from previous Project activities to promote safe infant sleep in AI/AN communities.

NICHD Healthy Native Babies Project 2022, Webinar 3 of 3

HNBP Materials

Select a link to view, download, or order materials, developed for the HNPB.

Safe Sleep for Your Baby Booklet

Honor the Past, Learn for the Future Handout

Healthy Native Babies Project Workbook Packet

Healthy Native Babies Project Facilitator's Packet

Healthy Native Babies Project Training Videos

This six-part video series features a train-the-trainer session for service providers held in August of 2014 in Toppenish, Washington.
Videos of Healthy Native Babies Project Train-the-Trainer Session