Safe Sleep

Safe sleep.

Yes, “Safe Sleep.” It’s a topic that can easily be ignored, but definitely should not be pushed aside. It could mean the difference between life and death for an infant—just ask any parent who has lost a child as a confirmed result as “SIDS.”

Many parents don’t really consider this somewhat “under the radar” element when designing a newborn’s nursery—one this new baby will “grow up” in over at least the next year.

But, did you know that just a few changes could possibly mean the difference between life and death? Yes, life and death. It could be that serious.

Safe sleep environments have been linked to a decreased risk for SIDS. While these practices might agree with a parent’s anticipated early parenting goals, they should be considered.

Many mothers, much like myself, start dreaming of the “perfect” nursery room once a pregnancy test reveals a “Positive” reading. It’s exciting! We are ready to plan—we LOVE to decorate. However, it is important to know that just because a product is for sale at the biggest “Baby Store” doesn’t mean it is necessary or entirely safe for babies.

One of the biggest crib concerns are bumpers. Yes, they are cute. They add a great photographic element to our pictures, but are they crucial? Researchers say no. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees.

Why take the risk of SIDS when evidence supports not using them? Are a few “cute” pictures worth risking a child’s life?

The same research-based recommendations holds true for the use of sheets and blankets in a crib, and for parental smoking practices. Blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, smoke can all lead to difficulty breathing for an infant especially when it has not developed the ability to roll over or remove itself from something that is suffocating it.

So, what do you think? Did research-based practice guide your decisions? Were you even aware of them? Are you making changes now?

October is SIDS awareness month. What do you think about this? Do you have a supported opinion?

Weigh in. Leave us a comment. Join the discussion!

For more information on prevention programs in Alabama, as well as how to support their work, visit The Children’s Trust Fund of Alabama.

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