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Monday, March 14, 2011

Improvements In Baby Sleep Patterns Over Last 20 years

With a new little member of the family our thoughts turn back to safety of infants and how to keep them safe. My mother had her first child pass due to SIDS and it has always bothered me because no one knew how it happened or why and to this date there is still not a given reason. There are prevention steps however and I must say that many things that I did while caring for the first of my six children was totally wrong. See what I did wrong and what is recommended to help prevent SIDS.

Baby Sleeping On Back for Safety Sakes
As a young mother putting my baby to sleep was not always an easy task. The recommendation at the time of my first childs birth was to have the baby sleep on her stomache. This was difficult for me because I would rock her to sleep and then try to lay her down on her stomache in her crib. Many times this did not work and she would wake up as I tried to move her. I could however, lay her down on her back to where she would sleep for ample amount of time. This was a no no in those early days but is now recomended to help prevent SIDS.

Use a firm sleep surface: Soft materials or objects such as pillows, quilts, comforters, or sheepskins should not be placed under a sleeping infant. A firm crib mattress, covered by a sheet, is the recommended sleeping surface.

I can remember with my first two children I would decorate the inside of their crib to match the decor in the room. With cloth lacey bumper pads, blankets and quilts would adorn their crib. In my early days as a mother the danger of SIDS being caused by the things in their crib was not a great concern. I remember even placing a crib sheet on the crib matress and often covered by a changing pad under my baby. Now the recommended is to lay the infant on a crib mattress covered by a sheet. Extra objects should also not be kept inside the crib to help prevent crib death is also very important. So much of what I did with my first child would be considered dangerous now Halo Sleepsacks allow a mother to rest assured that their little one is comfortable and warm without having to have extra blankets.

Keep Baby Bed Close To Mothers
here is one thing that I did right and so did my mother. Many mothers who have the means to do it may create a nursery where the baby can sleep. I did the opposite my children slept in a basinet for the first few months then were transfered to a crib in the same room. It is recomended to help prevent SIDS that the infant sleep close to the mother but is not recomended to have the infant to share the mothers bed.

Pacifier Use Helps Prevent SIDS
I only had one of my six children to ever want to take a pacifier but both of my grandchildren do. There is clear evidence that pacifiers used during sleep time can help prevent SIDS. Many have the belief that pacifiers are bad for the child's teeth. According to the evidence to this is not as much as that for pacifiers lessening the risk of SIDS. It is not recommended to force the child to take the pacifier or to reinsert pacifier after child goes to sleep

Prevent Overheating
My grandmother and mother always warned me about keeping my baby warm because the draft could be damaging to their little bodies. Now the recomendation is to prevent the baby from overheating. Simply cloth the infant lightly when they go to sleep and the temperature of the bedroom should be kept comfortable so that an adult dressed the same way would be comfortable. Overbundeling like we oten did my early years of parenting should be avoided This can easily be achieved by using the HALO sleepsack which allows the baby to be comortable and warm without having to bundle them up tightly. Sleepsacks are available in different styles and are perfect year round

I hope that you heed the recomendations to help prevent SIDS and if you are like me and did things incorrect that you take the steps to correct it in order to prevent your baby.

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