Borchardt Consulting

Posts Tagged ‘Suffocation

Sleep positioners were originally designed after the Safe Sleep community began urging parents to place infants on their backs in order to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Sleep positioners come in a variety of different designs but their design purpose is to keep an infant on his or her back.

Unfortunately, the unintended consequence of this product was to introduce yet another soft device into an infant’s sleep environment increasing the risk of suffocation.

Safe Sleep experts have long held that sleep positioners only increase the possibility of an infant dying due to either SIDS or accidental suffocation caused by the soft product.

To reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs, positioned on a firm, empty surface. This surface should not contain soft objects, toys, pillows, or loose bedding.

Once an infant can freely roll, he should be allowed to adopt whatever sleep position he prefers.

 

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Pillow Designed to Prop a Bottle

Bottle Prop Pillow

Bottle Propping has been done by busy parents and caregivers for many year.  Baby bottle holders allow a parent to feed a baby, especially twins or triplets hands free. There are a variety of designs, but generally they are cushy pillows that rest on baby’s chest propping up and stablizing the bottle so that they can drink without the need for holding it. Bottle Props can be used while baby is in a stroller, carrier seat, bouncy seat, crib, or boppy – just about anywhere that baby is placed on his or her back.   Some parents can’t imagine getting through the day without bottle propping but it is generally considered a bad idea.  Products used to prop a bottle are considered unsafe for babies and discouraged by medical professionals and safe sleep experts.

Feeding a baby is an optimal time for bonding.  Holding baby close to your body, looking into the baby’s eyes and being reactive to the baby’s cues are all important.  Bottle propping can cause ear infections, choking, gagging and even death.  Read more about the correct way to hold a baby during bottle feeding.

Bedsharing isn't always pretty

Bedsharing proponents generally fall into one of two camps. The first kind is the “attachment parenting” type of parent that strongly believes that it is in the best interest of the baby to share a sleep space with the parents from birth. These parents will sometimes have a “family bed” where everyone in the family shares the same sleep space. Bonding and the emotional well-being of the baby is often sited as a primary goal for this group.

The second and most common group is the parents that have a crib or bassinet for their baby and plan for precious child to sleep the night through in his or her crib.  Unfortunately, no one informed junior of that plan.  After a night of singing, walking, rocking their darling, wide-eyed, screaming baby – these exhausted, anxious parents bring baby into bed with them because they can’t keep their eyes open one more moment and they have to get to work the next morning.  So in complete desperation they bring baby into bed with them in the frantic hope that they will get just 5 minutes of good sleep before the alarm goes off. This type of bedsharing parent is often referred to as the “Chaotic bedsharer”.

There is a raging debate amongst parents and professionals.  Advocates of bedsharing believe that it is:

  • Natural
  • Historical (It’s been done since the beginning of time.)
  • Facilitates breastfeeding
  • Helps with Bonding
  • Assists baby with healthy emotional development
  • Increases both parental and infant sleep time

Opponents of bedsharing believe that it is dangerous for the infant less than one year of age because it can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation by overlay or by entrapment.

Whatever your belief, I think that we can all agree that neither parent is “evil” because they choose to bedshare.  But, the photo tells a truer picture of a night spent with a baby.  So, regardless of your parenting style, be prepared for a foot in your nose and another foot in your kidneys!  I wish all you parents a pleasant – “Good Night.”

Many thanks to bellyitchblog.com for this great photo!

Do you ever read the comments at the end of an on-line newspaper article?  I do.  Apparently, lots of people comment on newspaper articles.  Sometimes, those comments just make me want to scream.  I recently read an article from NPR entitled “Co-Sleeping is Back in the News”.

The author, Barbara J. King was commenting upon the fact that a baby died while sleeping in bed with his breastfeeding mother.  The cause of death was listed as “a co-sleeping accident”. This article was a fairly unbiased commentary on co-sleeping.  While there is much about this article that I would choose to comment on, I’ll pass by that for now and go directly to the comments.

nothing is forever  wrote:

responsible parents never roll over their babies it is not optimism but truth if it is not true humans would have been extinct by now…..from time immemorial babies slept with their parents that gives the parents and the child a bond which we is very important. When a baby dies with mother rolling over the baby it is news because it is very uncommon………….

WHAT!  Where do you get your information?  After nearly 20 years of working with newly bereaved parents whose infants have died, it’s not all that uncommon.  Every single day my fax machine will turn on with at least one death report for an infant.  When a baby dies due to an overlay or accidental suffocation, some parents are too grief stricken and guilt-ridden to tell the world.  It is a horrible accident.

Leah  wrote:

I slept in the bed with all three of mine when they were babies and never rolled on any of them. The elephant in the room here is the *size* of the parent, I’d wager.

Wow!  That’s certainly judgmental.   Having your children survive might just make you incredibly lucky – not right. Why is it necessary to vilify parents who experienced a horrible tragedy?  In order to separate yourself (you’re right and they are wrong), it’s apparently necessary to make them fat, drug using, alcoholics.  Research has shown us that some of the reasons that you should NOT bedshare are using  drugs (even over-the counter drugs like cold medication), alcohol,  smoking and being overweight.   But the list is actually much, much longer.  No one wants to be
the bed room police. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine actually has protocols for breastfeeding mothers to co-sleep.  You can check them out here.

Brow Master wrote:

You don’t need a doctors opinion on this just listen to your own mother or grandmother.

I’m sure that your mother would be happy to hear that you believe she is always right; however, changes in childrearing occur because research
continues to give us more information, new products are discovered and even our children change. I’d wager that your mother did not put her children in a car seat.  There was probably lead paint on the crib that she used.  I played on construction sites, drank out of garden hoses and ate white bread with butter and sugar for lunch, but I certainly wouldn’t want my grandchildren to do that.

Jerry wrote:

From an evolutionary perspective, survival requires co-sleeping. For most of human history, sleeping away from your parents would most likely result in your becoming food for predators.

I wonder if the any of the studies factor in the size of the mother. There are some women walking around here even I wouldn’t feel safe sleeping next to.

Excellent point – Evolution. Defined as  1. any process of formation or growth; development. 2. A product of such development. 3. Biology.
Change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. 4. A process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development, as in social or economic structure or institutions.

In short, evolution means change.  I can’t speak for everyone, but in my neighborhood, I don’t have to worry about lions eating my children.  We have heat in our home so I don’t have to keep them close for heat.  I sleep in an America style comfortable bed, not on a dirt floor.  Sometimes, we outgrow our evolutionary history.  Some call that progress.  As to the other point about a woman’s weight – that’s just mean.  Most women who have recently given birth to a baby are carrying a bit of extra weight.

Candida  wrote:

I am sorry for this mother though it may be that the baby would have still passed or passed sooner had it been in a crib. The majority of the worlds culture co-sleep.

Back to that.  I don’t live in a third-world country (most of the world’s population).  Also, please don’t ever say something like
that to a bereaved parent.  We all die eventually but you have no way of knowing that this baby would die under other circumstances.

jpett88 wrote:

“3 million years of human evolution have prepared you for it.”

My favorite product of millions years of human evolution is the frontal cortex of the brain, which allows [most] humans to think rationally. It’s why we buckle our seatbelts in cars. Why we avoid drinking antifreeze. And probably why we shouldn’t sleep in the same bed as our babies, given the evidence. Bed-sharing is probably on par with opting out of vaccinations. Low risk but
high stakes. It’s a parenting choice, of course.

There are no right answers. Just safer answers.

AMEN! Excellent answer!  There are no right answers.  Just safer answers.  As a parent, you get to decide for your family what works best for you.  Consider, are you putting the comfort of the parents ahead of the safety of the child?   Babies are dying – unnecessarily.  As the parent, you get to chose what is right for your baby and for your family.  Make an informed choice and don’t for a minute think that it only happens to “bad” people.  It happens in every racial, ethnic, economic group.  It happens to loving parents who desperately wanted a baby.  Luckily, it doesn’t happen to most of us.  But, most people do know someone who has had a baby die.  That family deserves your sympathy, empathy and support.  Not your judgment.

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.   Sophia Loren, from Women and Beauty

The FDA continues to talk about the dangers of sleep positioners and other products that make specific claims to “prevent SIDS”.   At first glance, it seems like an over-reaction to a small number of accidental suffocation deaths – 13.  However, the number is actually much higher.  Unfortunately, many babies die with unsafe products like bumpers and positioners in the crib with them, but those deaths are not reported to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because the product has been considered “normal” in the babies crib environment.

Despite the warnings, many parents continue to use these dangerous comforts.  Many parents equate “softness” with “comfort” and inadvertently put their babies at risk.

See Video

 

Along with many partners, we were successful this year in getting the toughest new crib standards passed in the world.  Now, it’s time to turn our attention to portable play yards.  In Illinois, Childcare providers can use portable play yards as an infant crib.  It’s essential that we create the best standards for this piece of equipment as well.  Cribs and play yards are the only place that we leave infants unattended for hours at a time, it’s critical that parents and caregivers know that they have the best, safest piece of equipment available.

 

Play Yards: What Parents Should Know.


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