Baby Back To Sleep

Not too long ago, pediatricians and other health care providers used to think that babies should sleep on their stomachs. However, research now shows that healthy babies are less likely to die of SIDS when they sleep on their backs. Therefore, placing your baby on his or her back to sleep is the number one way to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Every sleep time counts, so do not make exceptions to this rule for short naps, and make sure all caregivers place your baby to sleep in the same position. Studies show that babies who are used to sleeping on their backs, but who are occasionally then placed on their stomachs or sides to sleep, are at significantly higher risk for SIDS. This risk is actually greater (sometimes seven to eight times greater) than that of infants who are always placed on their stomachs or sides to sleep.

Therefore, make sure that everyone putting your baby to sleep (grandparents, babysitters, nanny, daycare team, friends…), knows about the best positioning and they all place your baby in the same position.

Once a baby has the ability to roll over the neck muscles are stronger and the chance of SIDS decreases. When infants roll over on their own, there is no evidence showing that they need to be repositioned and back to their backs.

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Baby Safety Alert: Cribs, toys, sleep positioners and formula

One of the main goals parents have is to keep children safe. We take our time, do our research and buy a wonderful crib to help them feel safe, sleep positioners to prevent SIDS, toys from a great brand so they don’t get hurt, and a great formula to make sure they get all the nutrients they need to grow healthy.

Over the past weeks, we learned that the crib we thought was safe has killed children before; the toys we thought harmless, have taken children to the emergency rooms; the sleep positioners we thought prevented SIDS do not, and pose a suffocation hazard; and the number one selling formula contained beetles.

The main goal of this article is not to alarm you, but to inform and to give you some tips on how to keep your children safe.

Alert #1: Sleep Positioners, Suffocation Hazard

One of the main concerns parents have with regards to their baby’s sleep (besides helping them sleep) is safety, specifically SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome]. There are many things parents can do to help reduce the risk of SIDS, such as putting your baby to sleep on his/her back.

Many baby product manufacturers used this valid concern to market products arguing that they reduce the risk of SIDS, claim that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Sleep positioners are among these products.

Since 1980s the FDA has approved 18 sleep positioners because evidence suggested that they eased the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and prevented flattening of the skull; NOT because they reduce the risk of SIDS, which is one of the main reasons why most parents are buying and using them.

However, reports of at least 12 deaths among infants from 1 to 4 months of age over the past decade, and multiple nonfatal cases in which babies awoke in unsafe positions after being place in a sleep positioner; indicate that sleep positioners posed a higher risk than we initially thought.

This promoted the FDA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue a warning that baby sleep positioner can carry the risk of suffocation and death. Health officials say the mats with barriers designed to prevent a baby from rolling over SHOULD NOT be used under any circumstances.

If you’re using sleep positioners with your baby, stop using them; the modest benefit does not outweigh the risk.

Learn more about Baby Sleep Safety.

Alert #2: Similac® Powder Formula, Bug Contamination

Abbott Laboratories recalled last week about 5 million containers of its top-selling Similac powdered infant formula due to possible contamination by beetles and larvae of the bugs. The recall does not affect any liquid formulas or other Abbott-brand products.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that the formula containing the beetles ‘poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract.’

If your child has been showing digestive symptoms such as a stomach-ache or refusal to eat, after drinking the formula, you should contact your child’s pediatrician.

The recall includes:

  • All lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in plastic containers, including 1.38-lb, 1.45-lb and 2.12-lb containers
  • Similac Sensitive Isomil Soy – 12.4-oz cans – only lots numbers containing RB
  • Similac Advance – 12.4-oz cans – only lots numbers containing RB
  • certain lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in sizes such as 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans
  • Similac formula powder in 8-ounce sample cans that could have been given out in doctor’s offices and hospitals

If you have been feeding this formula to your child, or have it in your pantry; please visit company’s, http://www.similac.com/recall, or call their consumer hot line at (800) 986-8850, to check if you have products with the affected lot numbers. Abbott said those products should be returned to the company for a full refund.

Alert #3: Fisher Price Toys, Tricycles and High Chairs, Safety Concerns

Fisher-Price announced a wide-reaching recall of more than 11 million toys and kids’ products. More than 7 million tricycles, 1 million high chairs, 2.9 million infant toys, and 120,000 toy cars and ramps. Nearly 50 products are included in the recall.

There has not been any report of death, but several children required medical attention. There have been 10 reports of injuries on the tricycles, including genital bleeding. A protruding part near the tricycles seat, which children can fall or accidentally sit on, is the alleged problem.

There have been 14 reported incidents with the high chairs; children can fall on or against the pegs on the rear legs of the high chair resulting in injuries or lacerations. The pegs are used for high chair tray storage. There have been 50 reports of valves coming out of inflatable toy balls, with poses a choking hazard. Finally, there have been several reports of wheels coming off some toy cars, also posing a choking risk.

The toys included in this recall are very common, so please visit Mattel’s website http://service.mattel.com/us/recall.asp or call 1 800 432 5437. Fisher-Price is offering replacements and repair kids for the recalled toys and baby equipment, but not refunds.

Make sure you examine your children’s toys regularly, look for loose parts, small pieces, or broken parts.

Alert #4: Simplicity-Sorelle Cribs, Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards

Albee Baby recalled Sorelle brand Prescott model. This recall uncovered the real manufacturer of Sorelle’s crib, Simplicity. Simplicity is no longer in business, but recalls of its products continue.

CPSC has received one report of a consumer who, in April of 2010, removed the Sorelle Prescott label from the crib and found a Simplicity crib label underneath. (The consumer purchased the crib in July of 2009, prior to the Simplicity mattress support recall.)

Child product safety advocate Nancy Cowles was fuming when she saw the Simplicity brand had been obscured. “How’s a consumer to trust these manufacturers? I’m sure many of the families would have made a different choice if they had known they were buying a Simplicity crib,” Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, told Consumer Ally.

In the April 2010 Simplicity recall, CPSC reported the death of a one-year-old child from Attleboro, Mass. who suffocated when he became entrapped between the crib mattress and the crib frame. In addition, CPSC has received reports of 29 incidents involving the Simplicity cribs where the cribs collapsed due to the metal mattress support frame detaching or bending. These include one child entrapment that did not result in injury and one child who suffered minor cuts when his head struck the broken mattress support bar.

This recall is limited to Sorelle “Prescott” cribs sold online by AlbeeBaby.com between July 2009 and October 2009 for between $180 and $210.

If you have one of these cribs, you should immediately stop using them and contact Albee Baby for a replacement crib, store credit or refund.

Learn more about baby sleep and crib safety.

__________________________

Diana Gonzalez Blanco, B.B.A., M.B.A., is a Certified Youth, Parenting and Family Coach; a Baby and Toddler Sleep Expert; and founder of Smooth Parenting. Smooth Parenting is a baby & toddler sleep training consultancy and parenting coaching firm, that helps families around the world get a good night sleep and a peaceful, smooth and happy family life. Diana has an impressive track record of helping families teach their babies to sleep. Her approach to sleep training and parenting is gentle, progressive, effective, holds the wellbeing of the child first, and follows the guidelines provided by the American Association of Pediatrics.

For more baby sleep and parenting tips, sign up for Smooth Parenting’s FREE newsletter at http://www.SmoothParenting.com; and follow them on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/SmoothParenting

Baby Sleep Safety

We’d like to share with you some simple safety tips to have in mind when putting your baby to sleep for nights and naps. Many of them have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS*.
  • Put your baby to sleep on his back
  • Keep your baby’s face clear of coverings
  • Do not leave loose bedding, pillows, or stuffed toys in the crib
  • Do not over-clothe your baby, avoid overheating
  • Use a safety-certified crib (JPMA certified)
  • Have a firm crib mattress
  • Don’t let your baby fall asleep on the sofa, or untied on a swing/ bouncy seat
  • Maintain an appropriate temperature on your baby’s room (68 – 72 F)
  • Improve the ventilation in your baby’s room
  • Avoid exposing your baby to tobacco smoke
  • Offer your baby a pacifier (under 12 months old)

Educate babysitters, day-care providers, grandparents, and everyone who cares for your baby about SIDS risk and the importance of observing the advice offered here.

* SIDS: Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1 in which an autopsy does not show an explainable cause of death. There are no symptoms. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old. Though SIDS remains unpredictable, you can help reduce your infant’s risk.

    When to stop swaddling?

    The main purpose of swaddling your baby while she’s a newborn is to make her feel secure, warm and safe. After night months inside your womb, your baby will feel disoriented in the outside world, and the swaddling will help him remember her previous environment and rest.

    After two months, many babies will start kicking and fighting the swaddle, while others are comfortable being ‘wrapped’ until about 4 months. Whenever you see your baby fighting the swaddling while he’s sleep or before falling asleep, it’s your cue to stop swaddling.

    Swaddling a baby become a safety hazard once your baby is able to roll over, which usually occurs between 2 and 5 months. Once she has the ability to roll, you should stop the swaddling, as you don’t want her to be all tighly-swaddled and roll onto her tummy, since she could end up suffocating her, and certainly increases the risk of SIDS.

    Swaddling also becomes a safety hazard when the temperature is high. Make sure you swaddle your baby on a breathable blanket, that is appropriate for the current weather conditions. As a rule of thumb, remember that babies should wear one more layer than adults, so do not overdress your baby as overheating is a major risk factor for SIDS.

    Some babies don’t like being swaddled, though. If your baby doesn’t, you can try swaddling him a bit looser or leaving his arms out of the blanket altogether. To sum up, we recommend swaddling your baby during the first two months of life, if she looks comfortable like that; and read her cues after that as to when to stop swaddling.

    Risk of Too-Early Formal Sleep Training

    Although parents can start teaching babies healthy sleep habits from the begining, it is not advisable to follow any kind of formal sleep training method when the baby is too young. What’s too young? It depends on the baby! Most babies are ready to start formal sleep training at 4 months, and others aren’t until they’re 6 months old. That’s the perfect window 4-6 months.

    That doesn’t mean that up until they’re ready, parents can’t do anything. As we mentioned in our previous post, parents can start instilling good sleep habits and associations from day one.

    What are the risk to start a formal sleep training plan too early?

    • You will be fighting against nature:
      • During the early months of your baby’s life, he sleeps when he is tired, it’s really that simple. You can do very little to force a new baby to sleep when he doesn’t want to sleep, and conversely, you can do little to wake him up when he is sleeping soundly.
      • Newborns need to be fed every two to four hours — and sometimes more, since their tummies are very small and can’t hold food that last for longer.
      • Babies under 4 months don’t have the ability to sleep very long streches of time. Somewhere between 5 and 8 hours would be the maximum at that age.
    • Sleep training done before their cardiopulmonary control mechanisms are mature enough to handle prolonged deep sleep could be risky.
    • Sleep training done too soon might increase the risk of SIDS (While there is no scientific evidence that cry-it-out causes, many famous pediatricians -ie. Dr. Sears- believe there’s a correlation).

    Even though our sleep training methods are very gentle and don’t involve cry it out, we would not advice you to follow them before your baby is ready (4-6 months). Parents can learn how to make sleep training not necessary or easier by following a very simple plan for those first four months. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about that plan.