Advice about SIDS
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Advice about SIDS
October 2008 note: a new study has found that sleeping in a room with a fan lowers
a baby's risk of SID by 72% - see
NY Times article
We lost our son to SIDS and we're expecting another baby. We
imagine that we are going to freak with any cold, fever or
cough that the baby might have. Because of that, we're looking
for a sensitive doctor, caring and compassionate that will not
feel disturbed because of ''nonsense'' calls. We would like some
feedback from moms or dads that have been there. We live in
Sarah Handlesman East Bay Pediatrics
Petra Landman Pediatric Medical Group
I am going crazy! My daughter (4 months old) can roll over now,
and during the night she does...she's a very active sleeper. I'll
go in and find that she has rolled onto her stomach. All
positioning products like wedges say you can't use them once
the baby can roll over. What more can I do? I flip her onto
her back when I find her on her tummy, but I can't stand over
her all night! The fear is making me miserable and I'm having
trouble sleeping. I am very well informed about SIDS prevention,
but none of the articles acknowledge the fact that babies
can roll over! I talked with the advice nurse, and she said
if I'm worried I might consider sleeping in the same room with
her for the next few months....I tried that, and I can't sleep
that way! Can anyone reassure me at all, or am I doomed to be
obsessed with this until she starts walking?
I appreciate your responses!
My baby could roll over very early too. He would sleep in a
position that seemed designed to induce suffocation -- in a
tuck with his face pressed down into the corner where the
mattress met the crib bumper. All I can say is I let him
sleep the way he wanted, and he is alive and kicking. I
did avoid using blankets and always tried to make sure the
room was not overheated (two other SIDS factors), and I put
him down on his back, but what he did after that was up to
him. Oh yes -- and I worried constantly!!
For what its worth, my 17 month old child also started
rolling over at about 4 months and I had many of the same
fears of SIDS as you. When I asked our pediatrician if I
should try to turn him over while he slept, he said something
like "If you put him to bed on his back, keep his sleeping
space firm and free of toys and blankets, there's nothing more
to do but relax. You can't stop the baby from developing."
This advice was very reassuring to me and I let my fears go.
Someone else (not a doctor) thought that babies strong enough
to roll over might be more likely to be able to move themselves
out of a physical situation that wasn't giving them enough
oxygen. Scientific or not, that also reassured me.
My 10 week old rolled over twice and continued to try at night
when we put her down in her crib...I put her in the wedge and
found that she had rolled on her side (which is as far as she
can go in the wedge) and slept comfortably like that through
the night...she has since forgotten or lost interest in rolling
over more at this time. I don't see why the wedge would be a
problem but I do not speak as an authority on this by any means.
I don't know the answer to your question, but on a feelings basis,
my child is 14 months old and I still intensely worry about
SIDS or other catastrophes. I don't know if it's just a normal
worry or if I am "sensitized" to the issue because someone close
to me died 2 years old. If your fear is "making you miserable,"
it might be something to explore where that feeling is coming
from and why it is so intense.
Everything I have read leads me to believe that once a baby is
able to roll over they have very little chance of dying from SIDS.
Just keep all pillows, stuffed animals and quilts out of the crib.
To the parent concerned about SIDS:
Your concern sounds familiar. I was unable to sleep soundly for
fear that SIDS would strike while I was sleeping. My solution
was to bring my daughter into bed with me. I put her up between
my and my husband's heads so that I didn't have to worry about
rolling over on her. It gave me peace of mind and also
facilitated night-time nursing. I believe I read that bringing
your child into your room does not decrease the incidence of SIDS,
but the study did not address having the child in bed with you.
Of course, you must weigh this against the recent American Academy
of Pediatrics recommendation that parents not sleep with their
infants because of smothering concerns. Soft mattresses, deep
sleepers, lots of covers, and drug use (including alcohol and
prescription drugs that induce drowsiness) contribute to a higher likelihood of rolling over on your
child and not noticing. This
was never a problem for a light sleeper like myself. It worked
for me, but listen to what your inner voice is telling you. Having
your child's crib adjacent to your bed might relieve some of your
concerns as well. Good luck!
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