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Questioning SIDS "Back to Sleep Campaign" - Page 2

post #21 of 64
Actually... around the time the back to sleep campaign started the criteria and testing for SIDS changed. Of course, I have no links to back up my facts right now... but maybe someone else will chime in.

I have 4 children, pregnant with my 5th... all of them have been tummy sleepers from very early on. It's been quite apparent (to me) that if I lay my child on his/her back they are more likely to startle and wake themselves vs. laying them on their tummies. I'm willing to take that risk... I know not everybody is and that's ok but it surely doesn't make you a bad parent if you place your baby to sleep on their belly.

Mine really only napped by themselves, usually in the same room as me. I found it much easier to bed share at night, we were all better rested that way.
post #22 of 64
My oldest was a horrible sleeper, and I really wish I'd not been so paranoid about letting him sleep on his stomach. I think it would have saved us both a lot of grief. DD slept anywhere, anyhow, so she always went to sleep in her back. My youngest, though, whoo boy. He did not sleep for more than 20 minute stretches unless he was on his stomach. I was paranoid because he was preterm and didn't want to have him on his belly, but the truth was - it was much more dangerous for him to not get any real sleep. I was at a serious breaking point from sleep deprivation and someone was going to get hurt unless a change was made (not necessarily that I would purposely hurt him, but that I would not be coherent enough to make proper decisions or even trust that I wasn't going to drop him while walking across the room or trying to bathe him or something). In any case, I finally let him belly sleep and his sleep improved - he still wasn't a great sleeper, but i could get a couple of hours out of him rather than 20 minutes.
post #23 of 64
Thread Starter 
Here is a link to an abstract that was written about this. You are on to something, Demeter, with the idea that they have actually just changed the coding and that perhaps SIDS hasn't really declined that much due to this BTS campaign.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...full/109/2/274

Here is a quote from the abstract: "Classification of possible SIDS cases to unknown cause may have increased with more death scene investigations or fatality reviews that use more precise definitions of SIDS.13 Combined with increased state activities to review all sudden, unexpected child fatalities, increased numbers of US deaths with unknown cause may result in national underascertainment of SIDS or unintentional, intentional, or undetermined intent injury classifications."
post #24 of 64
V was (and is) a tummy sleeper. I read over all the big SIDS studies, esp the Swedish one and the one from Hong Kong, and decided that tummy sleeping isn't the magic bullet of SIDS. She slept in our room from day one, and, frankly, if she'd been in a crib in her own room, I would have put her on her back, as I feel strongly that room-sharing helps a lot in setting breathing patterns, and I strongly doubt a healthy baby will silently die in the night. (When she coslept in our bed, she was on her back, though.)

V was also particularly strong, and could hold her head up at birth. If she'd been weaker, I would have thought about back sleeping. We had no other risk factors for SIDS (smoking, smoking in the house, having the baby sleep with someone other than us, etc).

I think there are definite benefits, both motor skill and overall growth and development-wise, to tummy sleeping- they NEED good, deep sleep to grow and learn, and they really do sleep better on their bellies. Motor development-wise, she's way ahead of today's curve- I've yet to meet a baby her age who is doing half of the physical stuff she is (crawling since 6 months, sitting since 4, etc).

While I'm all for tummy-sleeping for this one child, I'd never recommend it to anyone else, though I would encourage people to do their own research on the matter. The year back-to-sleep went into action, there was a 50% reduction in "SIDS" deaths, but there hasn't been a decline since then. This suggests to me that 50% of "SIDS" deaths were actually asphyxiation and/or smothering deaths caused by a bunch of junk in the crib. I'd also never recommend this because the media has created a culture of fear, and people tend to react VERY badly to the idea of deliberately putting a baby on his or her belly. I actually lost a very good friend over this matter- she was at the hospital when V was born, but couldn't get over the idea that we were somehow laughingly putting our daughter in danger.

It's a touchy matter, and one to really do the research on yourself.
post #25 of 64
i've given this lots of thougth over the years, heres how i see it...

before the "modern age" people did what came naturally: mothers and babies co-slept. some babies died in the family bed, most didnt.

then came formula feeding. babies started throwing up from the artifical milk. along with artificial feeding came detachment parenting, ie, put the baby in the crib and only interact with it every four hours to give a bottle. so babies were left alone in the crib, probably on their backs so they could stare at a mobile or some other mother-substitute, and some babies threw up and choked and died.

so tummy sleeping was born. but babies were still being left alone in their cribs for long periods of time. not just for CIO at bed time, but during the day as well. add to this the increase in toxins in the home and an increase in AC usage which meant fewer open windows and babies were still dying in their cribs.

so the tide turned once again to back sleeping. i had my 1st child in 1994 and determined that i would be a good mom and only let him sleep on his back. well, he didnt sleep. my mother (who had kids in 77, 79, and 86) repeatedly told me to put him on his tummy so we would both get some rest. i did it once, and he slept.

but i continued to worry, and honestly, he didnt sleep so much. it was only a change from maybe 15 minutes to an hour. so one night, out of utter desperation, i took ds into my bed to nurse as usual, but this time i didnt return him to his crib. i just snuggled down in to my bed with him latched on and we slept for 5 hours. he was about 2 or 3 months old and my days of fighting to keep him asleep in the crib were over. back or tummy, it made no matter as long as he was next to me in the bed.

so i think that is the key: proximity to the nursing mother. i think the safest sleeping arangement by night is in the crook of the arm of the sober lactating mother, in a bed that has a reasonable amount of blanketing and firmness.

by day, i think the safest sleeping arrangement is either in a sling or other carrier. if it is necessary, or just desirable, to lay the baby down, i think any hard, firm, safe surface can be used, so long as the mother is near. what worked for me was a "stroll-a-bed", a stroller that layed down completely flat like an old fashioned pram. i got it new with ds1 and used it again with ds2 7.5 yrs later. it was great for me bc i could lay them on the tummy but wheel them from room to room as i did housework so i was always able to keep and eye and ear on their breathing.

so thats how i did it, but if for any reason i needed to put my child in a crib and leave the room, it would be on their back. ymmv
post #26 of 64
All my kids have slept on their tummies during the day, in a place where I could see them (pack n play, cosleeper, floor, bassinet, etc.), and on their sides at night. I never put them down on their backs.

With my non cosleepers, when I put them on their sides I would push their backs up against the side of the crib and pull both their arms out so they were perpendicular to their body (prevented rolling). Then I would take a receiving blanket and roll it up, place it between their legs and tuck it a bit under their bellies, up to their chest, to further prevent rolling.

I would switch sides every so often with them.

My cosleepers slept on their sides, facing my breast.

We also never did tummy time because we didn't need to, and all my kids have lovely round heads.
post #27 of 64
The fact that she sleeps better on her tummy or reclined makes me wonder if you're dealing with reflux at all?

DD slept on her side next to the last boob she'd nursed on for the first few months.

The biggest SIDS risk is 2-4 months, which corresponds with a lot of babies going through a phase of sleeping through the night. So I'd say don't worry about how your baby is sleeping, instead make sure to encourage nursing at regular intervals.
post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
so i think that is the key: proximity to the nursing mother. i think the safest sleeping arangement by night is in the crook of the arm of the sober lactating mother, in a bed that has a reasonable amount of blanketing and firmness.
I feel very convinced by the cosleeping studies that mother's breathing and blood flow help regulate the baby's breathing. From day 1 we slept skin to skin and DS was usually on his side cradling me. I kept blankets and pillows away from his head. I found that I got attuned to him so much that the couple of times the blanket went over his head I woke up. Recently I woke up just before he was about to fall off the mattress (it's a small drop to the floor but still -yay for super mommy sense)
DS slept in the crook of my arm and it was hard on my shoulders for a while but now he likes a little bit of space and we're much more comfortable. When he was (is) napping and wasn't in the carrier I would lay him on his side, and use the video monitor and check on him all the time. Now he's over 6 months and I have a lot more confidence that he can get himself out of trouble so if he falls a sleep on his tummy I let him be. I still check on him frequently though. It's funny though - DS is turning out to be a back sleeper I think.

So yeah - I love our family bed and so does DH. We feel that our little one is meant to be near us and safe and we find it so bonding.
post #29 of 64
My son absolutely hated being on his stomach and swaddled. My other children I never tried it.

Honestly with my children co-sleeping they slept on their sides or back. Rolling over to their stomach wasn't something they did until they were able to roll over on their own, which was after the highest risk period for SIDs. They would nurse on their side, when they unlatched they either stayed on their side or rolled to their back, never to their stomach.
post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini529 View Post
I wonder if babies were "meant" to be sleeping on their tummies and sides and we are going against nature by forcing them to sleep on their backs?
Maybe, but I don't think babies were "meant" to sleep in "containers" either...
I used to put my babies to sleep on their side.
post #31 of 64
I think you need to do what is best for your baby and in this case if it a no-sleep vs. sleeping well thing I would try the tummy sleeping and just be extremely aware that there were no pillows, blankets etc around your LO. I too like other PP's was extremely aware of DD's sleep, I always wake the minute she stirs or even just sighs loudly sometimes.

My mother was horrified when I told her DD "had" to sleep on her back because it was safer. She could not believe that it was safer and was terrified that DD was going to die. I was only born in 86, not too long ago and even then everyone was still doing tummy sleeping I believe.

Honestly from 3 months on DD was on her tummy and that was it. She wanted it that way and I spent a couple of weeks watching her sleep half the night totally paranoid and then we all relaxed and found our co-sleeping groove.

She is now 13 months old and I am not ashamed to say that she has been sleeping in her side-carred crib on a PILLOW (gasp) since she was 11 months. The reason she has her very own pillow is because every night I'd lay down with her and then get up once she was asleep and I'd go check on her and she had crawled up onto our soft down pillows and was sleeping on them on her tummy with just her legs on the bed. She loved it. So now she gets put on her own (very firm) pillow, on her tummy, and falls asleep better than when I try to nurse her to sleep!
post #32 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post

While I'm all for tummy-sleeping for this one child, I'd never recommend it to anyone else, though I would encourage people to do their own research on the matter. The year back-to-sleep went into action, there was a 50% reduction in "SIDS" deaths, but there hasn't been a decline since then. This suggests to me that 50% of "SIDS" deaths were actually asphyxiation and/or smothering deaths caused by a bunch of junk in the crib. I'd also never recommend this because the media has created a culture of fear, and people tend to react VERY badly to the idea of deliberately putting a baby on his or her belly. I actually lost a very good friend over this matter- she was at the hospital when V was born, but couldn't get over the idea that we were somehow laughingly putting our daughter in danger.

It's a touchy matter, and one to really do the research on yourself.
Yeah I know what you mean. I know several people, including my MIL who would be astounded and alarmed if I told her I let him tummy sleep sometimes. She already questioned me about it and told me I should always put him on his back no matter what. A few friends have mentioned that too and I feel like I have to keep it a secret, which makes me feel like I'm doing something horribly wrong. I doubt any of them have actually looked into it much, though, since the media took the BTS campaign and scared everyone to death about it.

The pediatricians are now also saying that pacifier use will help reduce SIDS. The way I see it is, if a baby is sucking on a pacifier, they probably aren't sleeping very soundly, which can't be all that good. That deep sleep that they all say is so dangerous is where all of the good restoration happens in their bodies and minds!

The more I research this, the more I find that actually leads me to believe that back sleeping might be worse for babies, especially mine because I'm starting to think more and more that he might have reflux. I'm going to ask his ped about it this Friday at his next appt.
post #33 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini529 View Post

The more I research this, the more I find that actually leads me to believe that back sleeping might be worse for babies, especially mine because I'm starting to think more and more that he might have reflux. I'm going to ask his ped about it this Friday at his next appt.
Our ped and NP have known since her first visit at 48 hrs old that she was a tummy sleeper. As I breasfeed, don't smoke, room-share, etc, and they were confident that we'd done the research on the pros and cons, they're were and are very supportive.

Things like flat heads and torticollis are a direct result of back sleeping- torticollis almost always self-corrects in tummy sleepers, but not in back sleepers. There was no need for tummy time when everyone slept on their bellies or sides; when my 6 month old started crawling, everyone who wasn't my immediate family FREAKED out that she was soooooo advanced, but it wasn't too long ago that 6 months for crawling, 10 months for walking, etc, was the *norm.*

For us, with this one baby (if our next one isn't as strong right out of the shoot, we'll probably put him or her on his or her side for the first few weeks), tummy sleeping was an obvious choice.
post #34 of 64
DS sleeps on his tummy on DH's chest. I read that sleeping chest to chest stimulates & regulates breathing for LO. This is the only way he would sleep deeply and I agree w/most of the OP's comments about sleep. I read a few studies that linked "back to sleep" to cognitive delays and attributed it to the lack of quality sleep. Made sense to me.
post #35 of 64
This article (pertaining to baby carriers) has a bit in it about baby positioning and what happens to the curve of their spine when on their backs:
http://www.sleepywrap.com/Research/uprightposition.pdf

Seems a little unnatural to me to put them on their backs (unless it's the rare baby who does seem most comfortable that way.)

I have kids from age 21 on down to "not quite born yet." When my first two were born, if you let them sleep on their back people thought you were killing them because they'd choke. Then it suddenly all changed to, "If they sleep on thier tummies they will die of SIDS."

My nephew had plagiocephaly and wore the helmet for 5 months. The sudden increase of plagiocephaly diagnoses, definitely correlates to the beginning of the back to sleep campaign. My sister says, "Plagiocephaly is fixable, death from SIDS is not" but her son WAS treated, and she feels that he still shows signs of plagiocephaly... and has feelings of guilt over that (obviously though it is NOT her fault, she did everything she could... some parents don't notice, don't get treatment at all.)

Just some points to ponder.
post #36 of 64
I totally support parents making an informed choice about this, but the numbers pre- and post-backsleeping campaigns seem pretty convincing to me. I will say that as with so many parenting things, although SIDS is really scary, the risk is really low to begin with. So I totally understand parents who decide to put the baby on its back, but I also understand parents who assess the risk for their individual situation and decide to go with stomach-sleeping.

That said, like a PP, I don't think it's "natural" for babies to sleep apart from their moms (I am not judging people who don't do family bed.) I think babies evolved in an environment where they slept very close to their moms and didn't go into the very, very deep sleep phases as tiny babies because their mom's breathing regulated theirs, their sleep phases synced up, and of course they nursed throughout the night. I don't know if they would have slept on their tummies - it seems like it's easier to latch on if you're on your side facing the boob. But maybe ur-babies slept face down on their mom's chest?

Anyway, for my way of thinking, once you've moved the kid out of the parental bed, you've already altered what's going on with the baby's sleep. At that point I think you're playing catch-up with trying to regulate the infant's sleep in "safer" ways.

FWIW, our kid mostly slept on his side (now he rolls around the bed and kicks us all night, sigh) - he and I faced each other. When he was very little he sometimes slept face-down on top of me.

OP, I know you said your baby doesn't like being swaddled, but have you tried the double swaddle? It's pretty much impossible to break out of, and if you use really light fabrics and put the baby to bed in just the swaddle and a diaper, not hot. I am a total swaddling fan - just a thought.
post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by danbee View Post
DS sleeps on his tummy on DH's chest. I read that sleeping chest to chest stimulates & regulates breathing for LO. This is the only way he would sleep deeply and I agree w/most of the OP's comments about sleep. I read a few studies that linked "back to sleep" to cognitive delays and attributed it to the lack of quality sleep. Made sense to me.
My baby sleeps very well this way too, in a recliner we have. I think that's different from putting them on their tummy in a crib or bed.
post #38 of 64
Sleeping with a baby in a recliner or on a sofa is supposedly one of the most dangerous ways to sleep.

-Angela
post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Sleeping with a baby in a recliner or on a sofa is supposedly one of the most dangerous ways to sleep.

-Angela
I can see why the couch would be a problem, but why a recliner? My husband's back is blocking any cushions and he holds the baby onto his chest. Baby is upright as well, as it doesn't recline all that far. I don't really see how it's different from falling asleep in a rocking chair or a glider.

ETA: We're not putting baby to bed there, but you know how it is. You fall asleep while holding baby.
post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Sleeping with a baby in a recliner or on a sofa is supposedly one of the most dangerous ways to sleep.

-Angela
My guess is that those are seen as dangerous because they're sometimes how inadvertent cosleeping happens; meaning caregivers fall asleep with the baby outside of the bed without meaning to, and likely have other risk factors (drug/ alcohol use, not being the mother or father, etc). So, like, it's not the couch or recliner's fault, it just happens to be where people doze off without knowing how to keep a kiddo safe.
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