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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Parents and Caregivers have many ways to combat their concerns for SIDS

Safe Sleep Baby

Safe Sleep Baby

(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and sleep related infant deaths.  As research progresses and we get nearer to finding the mechanical cause of sudden death in apparently healthy babies, we have identified many behaviors that parents and caregivers can use that dramatically reduce the likelihood of a sleep related infant death.

Patents can now feel empowered rather than frightened.  Remember to keep your babies safety first.


AAP   Recommendations

1: Back to sleep for every sleep2: Use a firm sleep surface

3: Room sharing without bed-sharing

4: No soft objects, loose bedding in crib

5: Prenatal care for pregnant women

6: Avoid smoke exposure

7: Avoid alcohol and illicit drug use

8: Breastfeeding

9: Pacifiers

10: Avoid overheating

11: Immunizations12: Avoid commercial devices marketed for SIDS reduction

13: No home cardiorespiratory monitors for SIDS reduction

14: Tummy time for awake infant

15: Endorsement of recommendations by providers, nurses, child care

16: Media and manufacturers follow safe sleep guidelines

17: National campaign on reducing all sleep related deaths, focus on minorities

18: Research and surveillance

Mom of Preemie learns Safe Sleep Information

Babies who are born prematurely are known to be at higher risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and new research now suggests that’s because their underdeveloped nervous systems can’t control drops in blood pressure as needed during sleep.

SIDS is the sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy baby. The national Back-to-Sleep campaign, which encourages parents to place infants on their backs to sleep, has dramatically reduced the prevalence of SIDS. Still, more than 2,300 babies aged 1 month to 1 year die from SIDS in the United States each year, according to First Candle, a nonprofit group that raises awareness about SIDS.

In this latest study, Australian researchers conducted sleep testing on 25 preemies who were born at 28 to 32 weeks and 31 infants who were born full-term (between 38 and 42 weeks). They found that the baroreflex — the system that regulates blood pressure — does not mature as quickly in babies who are born too early. As a result, the baroreflex may not be able to compensate as quickly when there is a drop in blood pressure.

“Infants die during sleep because they fail to respond appropriately to a life-threatening situation such as a fall in blood pressure,” explained study author Dr. Rosemary Horne, deputy director at the Ritchie Centre at the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Victoria, Australia.

Normally, “if there is a fall in blood pressure, heart rate will increase and the blood vessels will constrict to raise blood pressure,” she said. “Conversely, if there is a surge in blood pressure, heart rate will fall and the blood vessels dilate to reduce blood pressure again.”

But, this mechanism may not kick in as quickly in preemies, she said. There is no way to speed the maturity of this mechanism, but there are other things parents can do to help lower a premature infant’s risk of SIDS, she said. These include placing the baby to sleep exclusively on his or her back, breast-feeding if possible and avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke. “It is particularly important that young babies are not sleeping with parents in the parental bed or on a sofa, as evidence now shows these practices to be significant risks for SIDS.”

Dr. Rachel Y. Moon, director of academic development for the Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., said that “preemies up to six months of age may be at higher risk for SIDS because their baroreflex is not as good and not as stable.”

Do your best to eliminate any SIDS risks that are within your control, said Moon, who is a national expert on SIDS. “It is critical to try to give these babies every advantage they can get,” she suggested, which includes placing them on their backs to sleep on a firm surface without blankets or anything that will cover their face. “Don’t use pillows or bumper pads,” she said. “Sometimes parents think they are doing the right thing, but they are unintentionally placing their infant in a more dangerous situation by surrounding him or her with pillows to keep them safe.”

Borchardt Consulting educates parents, caregivers and the professionals who work with them in the latest information in safe sleep.

 The study appears online Dec. 12 and in the January 2012 print issue of Pediatrics.

To Hold or Not To Hold: Creating Guidelines for Management of Unexplained Child Death-Bereaved parents, grandparents, step-parents and guardians of sudden and unexpected infant and childhood deaths are invited to participate in this online survey that takes about 20 minutes.


Participants will share their experience of the process that followed the death of their infant or child. This study has been approved by the IRB of Hackensack University Medical Center of Hackensack, NJ and is part of a collaboration with NAME, IACM&E, ABMDI, SUDC and the CJ Foundation to create guidelines into the management of sudden infant/child death that balance the emotional needs of families and satisfy the needs of a comprehensive investigation. Surveys for medicolegal death professionals and Hospitals will also aid in the creation of these guidelines.


The survey can be accessed here<>.

Dr. Rachel Moon, lead author of the new American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and Pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC discusses the latest information.  Click Safe Sleep Guidelines.

Follow these tips to create a safe sleep environment and help reduce the risk of SIDS for infants.

Reducing the Risk of SIDS poster


  • Babies should always sleep on their backs.
  • Place baby on his/her back to sleep at night time and naptime.
  • Babies shouldn’t sleep on their side. They may roll to face down position.


  • Every baby should sleep in his/her own crib.
  • Place baby on a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib.
  • Remove all fluffy and loose bedding from the sleep area. The only thing that should be in the crib is the baby.
  • Make sure baby’s head and face stay uncovered during sleep.
  • Use blanket sleepers instead of blankets during colder months.

Room sharing

  • Babies from birth to age 6 months should sleep in the same room with their parents.
  • Babies should not sleep on the same sleep surface with their parents.
  • Bring the baby into your bed for cuddling and feeding, but return the baby to his/her crib when you are ready to go back to sleep.

Other tips

  • Don’t let baby get too warm during sleep. A general rule is that babies need one more layer than you do.
  • Use pacifiers at naptime and bedtime during the first year, but not during the first month for breast-fed babies.
  • Breastfeeding is best!
  • Make sure your baby gets all the recommended vaccinations.
Click here to down load Guideslines

As a parent, do you feel like you just can’t get it right?  You just can’t keep up with all the changes in child rearing practices?  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually makes a practice of reviewing the safe sleep guidelines every 5  years or so so that their recommendations can keep up with the latest trends and products.

Since the AAP recommended all babies should be placed on their backs to sleep in 1992, deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome have declined dramatically. But sleep-related deaths from other causes, including suffocation, entrapment and asphyxia, have increased. In an updated policy statement, the AAP is expanding its guidelines on safe sleep for babies, with additional information for parents on creating a safe environment for their babies to sleep. Rachel Moon, MD, FAAP explains how parents can help their babies sleep safely in a video.

The current recommendations:

  • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.
  • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).
The best thing about these guidelines is that they continue to be easy for parents and caregivers to do.  These guidelines can actually decrease the amount of money that you might spend by reducing the number of products in the baby’s crib.  Remember, that you need to share these guidelines with anyone who cares for your baby.

Cribs We Dream About Aren't Always Safe

Dr. Rachel Moon’s study on parental beliefs is really enlightening for educators who are trying to make parents aware of the safest sleep environment for baby.

Our babies need to sleep on a soft cloud.  Where did this belief come from?  In the last 20 years, we have introduced more and more soft fluffy items into our infants world.  In an effort to make that world cute and inviting for our baby’s, we have forgotten that most basic tenet – keep them safe.

I blame product manufacturers and magazines.  For women, after we’ve finished dreaming about our wedding, we start dreaming about what our babies room will look like.  We pour through catalogs and wander through the baby section of stores dreaming and imagining how our precious dream baby will look.

The realities are much harsher.  The crib is the one place that baby spends a lot of unsupervised time.  It must be the safest space in your home to place a baby and leave here unattended.  Soft + Comfortable does not equal safe.

Study highlights continuing dangers of soft bedding.

For years we have tried to educate new parents on the use of a “firm” sleep surface for baby.  Unfortunately, new research by Dr. Rachel Moon has demonstrated that many parents still equate “comfortable” with “soft”.

Parents, please listen.  We know that soft bedding such as pillows, bumpers, comforters and other items traditionally found in infant beds are suffocation hazards.  Please remove them from your infants crib.

That goes for your bed too if you are bringing your baby into bed with you.  Soft bedding is a hazard to a baby.

Read more:

Dr. Rachel Moon recently completed a study of magazines and other media aimed at women ages 20 – 40 to determine if the advertising messages were following the Safe Sleep for Infants guidelines.

“There are a lot of mixed messages that are being sent to families,” says Rachel Moon, a pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington who has probed several widely read parenting and women’s magazines and found that many photos in articles and advertisements clash with what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents do to keep infants safe while asleep. More than a third of the photos of sleeping babies showed the infants in perilous positions, and two thirds of those depicting cribs and other sleep environments showed situations that the organization deems dangerous, Moon and other researchers reported today in Pediatrics.

I have been talking with parents for years of the risks of soft bedding to infants.  Many infants in Illinois die on what is now considered to be unsafe sleep surfaces.  These are couches, adult beds, chairs, make shift beds on the floor and futons.  None of these surfaces have been designed for the unique needs of an infant.

Baby should always be placed in a crib to sleep.  Cribs need to be free from all soft bedding as well.  That means, no bumpers, pillows, quilts, comforters, stuffed animals, or laundry in the crib with the baby.  Also, baby should sleep alone – no siblings in the crib with baby.  Place the crib in Mom’s room so that baby can be easily attended.

For more information on this article, go to:

Unsafe CribUnsafe Crib

Research is defined as the diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications, etc.

Research, in my opinion is not to be used in hindsight but rather in foresight.  Research, especially on medical subjects like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome should not be used to batter oneself with guilt about what could have, should have happened if only one had known.

A Word About Research

A Word About Research

Most reasonable adults could predict that if you place an infant in a pool of water, that infant could drown.  But, could a reasonable adult predict that an infant, if placed in an adult bed could suffocate?  I don’t think so. How could any reasonable person predict that an apparently healthy baby would suddenly and unexpectedly die?

That is the value of research!  Research educates us on the possible causes and ramifications of our actions.  It does not help one bit with something that has already occurred except to offer a frame of reference.

SIDS research is active and ongoing.  We regularly are bombarded with information concerning infant care.  As parents, it all feels a little overwhelming and sometimes, even contradictory.  Who can keep up?

That’s why SIDS of Illinois, Inc. is here to help.  We have access to most of the current research being done on the subject of Safe Sleep for infants.  They  have access to medical professionals to assist us.

What you must remember is that SIDS research can do nothing to save the babies that have already died.  However, it can perhaps save babies in the future.  When you read about research that has come to light on this subject or others, run it through your own personal filter.  Does this make sense in your case?  Can this explain some of the events in your life?

If the answer is yes, the response is not guilt.  The correct response is: “Now that I know more, I can do more.”  As a parent, research offers you more choices, more tools to keep your baby safe.  But, research may never give us all the answers for why our babies died.

It’s not fair.  It’s not right.  It’s completely nonsensical.  But, as parents we are all searching.  Searching for the “Why”.  Why did my baby die?

What we must hold onto is that our babies were loved and that we did the best we knew how to do at the time.

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