Having a new baby is a time for celebration - yet worries come along too.
Suddenly we find ourselves responsible for a new human being and that is a tremendous responsibility. Who hasn’t tip toed into their baby’s room to check on them to be sure that they are OK? We breathe a sigh of relief as we tiptoe back out of the room, hoping we don’t wake our sleeping baby.
For some parents, this simple checking on their baby ends in a horror no parent should ever have to face – the death of their baby. The leading cause of death in babies between one month and one year old is SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. While SIDS is very rare, roughly 1,000 babies die each year in the USA from SIDS; even one baby is one too many.
The researchers have been studying SIDS for many years, but it is essentially unpredictable and, for the most part, unpreventable. Each year there seems to be new theories about the cause of SIDS, but so far none of them have given the answers needed to prevent deaths. The good news is that this research has led to the discovery of risk factors associated with SIDS and there are steps parents can take to help minimize the risk to their child.
There are a variety of monitors on the market from very simple sound monitors to more sophisticated video and motion monitors that will sound an alert if no motion is detected for a set time interval. There are mixed feelings as to whether most parents need to have these for their babies or not. Some experts say that you would only need these if your baby is identified as at risk (babies with identified health issues, some premature births, low birth weight babies, babies born to mothers who had poor prenatal care, etc.). Others say it is a small price to pay for peace of mind, and everyone should have one. The choice is yours.
There is a new product coming out that could also help prevent SIDS – an internet-connected baby onesie. The new monitor, called “The Mimo Baby”, is being billed as the monitor of the future. Equipped with respiratory sensors as well as sensors that monitor the baby's body position, activity level and skin temperature, one can check on their baby via a smartphone app.
That’s some pretty high-tech sleepwear! One advantage is there are no wires that can pose a strangulation hazard (one brand of monitor issued a recall after two babies died as a result of being strangled by an improperly secured power cord). This monitor will certainly appeal to the techie parents.
Back to Sleep
By now, many of us have heard the most common recommendation of having babies sleep on their backs. While we don’t know the reasons, babies who sleep on their stomachs and sides have a higher rate of SIDS than babies who sleep on their backs.
Sleep sacks are essentially a wearable blanket that eliminates the need for loose bedding in your baby’s crib. Very popular in Europe (they have been using them for over 30 years) and they are now catching on in North America. Studies show these to be the safest form of baby bedding and, like back sleeping, help reduce the rate of SIDS.
I can only hope that the day will come when no parent loses a child to SIDS.
For more from Anne, check out Maternity Corner.
Photo Credit: MimoBaby.com