Regarding those who remarked about milestone delays here are some quick facts:
Since 1998 there have been several studies published which report that infants placed to sleep in the supine position lag in motor skills, social skills, and cognitive ability development when compared to infants who sleep in the prone position.(1,2) A 1998 study (2) reported that prone sleeping infants slept an average of 225.2 hours more (8.3%) in their first 6 months of life than the supine sleeping infants and had statistically significant earlier milestone acquisition for creeps, crawls, pulls to stand, rolls prone to supine, and rolls supine to prone. In addition every other milestone tested was acquired faster by prone sleepers but the results were not statistically significant.
1.Majnemer A, Barr R. Influence of supine sleep positioning on early milestone acquisition. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2005;47:370-376
2.Davis B, Moon R, Sachs H, Ottolini M. Effects of Sleep Position on Infant Motor Development. Pediatrics. 1998;102:1135-1140
Regarding what are considered the "norms" another study concluded:
“…it may be necessary to re-normalize infant developmental assessments.”
3.Majnemer A, Barr R. Influence of supine sleep positioning on early milestone acquisition. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2005;47:370-376
Regarding SIDS Statistics
I compared the rate of Accidental Suffocations from 1992 to 2004 with the supine sleep rate from 1992 to 2004 and found that there was a positive correlation between accidental suffocation deaths and the supine sleep position (r=.80).(82,83) Infant suffocation rates had a 14% average annual increase between 1996 and 2004(84).
In addition, there was a 38% reduction in maternal smoking between 1990 and 2002 (85) and it should be noted that a pregnant woman who smokes is 2-6 times more likely to have an infant who dies of SIDS than a nonsmoking pregnant woman.(86,87)
A recent analysis of consecutive SIDS deaths contained the following comments of independent medical examiners who examined 5 (21%) of the 24 UK infants who were listed as having SIDS as the cause of death(88):
“Minor congenital abnormailities and VSD. Numerous fresh bruises.”
“Undernourished. Numerous healing scratch abrasions.”
“Bruises on face consistent with slap.”
“Mother had psychiatric history. Found dead with pillow over face.”
“Sibling died of “SIDS” at 6 months”
Check out the article entitle "The Case of New York" regarding SIDS Statistics by Thomas Hargrove for Scripps News Service.
Studies have also shown that changes in U.S. SIDS investigations protocols likely impact the statistical reporting and may be partly to explain for SIDS rate changes.89 In addition, a recent Editor’s Note in an article regarding the SIDS “Back to Sleep” campaign stated the following(90):
“I wonder how many of the infants placed in the prone (and presumably quieting) position would have been at high risk for child abuse if left in the supine position”
82.Shapiro-Mendoza CK, Kimball M, Tomashek KM, Anderson RN, Blanding S.US Infant Mortality Trends Attributable to Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed From 1984 Through 2004: Are Rates Increasing? Pediatrics 2009;123;533-539
83.National Infant Sleep Position Household Survey. Summary Data 1999. updated: 09/04/07
84.Shapiro-Mendoza CK, Kimball M, Tomashek KM, Anderson RN, Blanding S.US Infant Mortality Trends Attributable to Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed From 1984 Through 2004: Are Rates Increasing? Pediatrics 2009;123;533-539
85.Centers for Disease Control. Smoking & Tobacco Use - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWRs) – Smoking During Pregnancy – United States, 1990-2002 – October 7, 2004 / Vol. 53/ No. 39 http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_stat...highlights.htm
86.Haglund B, Cnattingius S. Cigarette smoking as a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome: a population-based study. Am J Public Health. 1990 January; 80(1): 29–32.
87.Mitchell EA, Scragg L, Clements M. Location of smoking and the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Internal Medicine Journal. Vol. 25 Issue 2, p. 155-156
88.Yukawa N, Carter N, Green MA. Intra-alveolar haemorrhage in sudden infant death syndrome: a cause for concern? J Clin Pathol. 1999;52:581-587
89.Shapiro-Mendoza CK, Kimball M, Tomashek KM, Anderson RN, Blanding S.US Infant Mortality Trends Attributable to Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed From 1984 Through 2004: Are Rates Increasing? Pediatrics 2009;123;533-539
90.Ottolini MC, Davis BE, Patel K, Sachs HC, Gershon NB, Moon RY. Prone infant sleeping despite the "Back to Sleep" campaign. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 May;153(5):512-7
91.Fleming PJ, Gilber R, Azaz Y, Berry PJ, Rudd PT, Stewart A, Hall E. Interaction between bedding and sleeping position in the sudden infant death syndrome: a population based case-control study. Br Med J. 1990;301;85-9
Regarding the "Back to Sleep" Lobby. Many companies make lots of money when women don't co-sleep and/or breastfeed and blindly "follow the rules". These are formulary companies and they spend a lot of money giving to Back to Sleep campaigns:
This is from a letter to the AAP by Dr. Melissa Bartick of Harvard:
"The AAP’s credibility is eroding already, with heavy
donations from the formula industry, selling the rights to
the AAP breastfeeding book to Ross, and now these
recommendations and the way their publication was
handled. The publication of these SIDS articles shows a
serious lack of rigorous scientific oversight. The articles,
as a whole, may be valuable, but the recommendations
drawn from them are seriously flawed."
Infant Death Syndrome: To the Editor
Bed Sharing With Unimpaired Parents Is Not an Important Risk for Sudden
In the exact same Letter to the editor of the AAP another group of doctors questioned the safety of the pacifier recommendation:
"However, from the perspective of the field of pediatric
sleep medicine, the policy statement’s laudable but narrow
focus on SIDS prevention raises a number of important
issues that need to be addressed. In particular, the
revised recommendations regarding cosleeping and pacifier
use have the potential to lead to unintended consequences
on both the sleep and the health of the infant.
The potential implications of a SIDS risk-reduction strategy
that is based on a combination of maintaining a low
arousal threshold and reducing quiet (equivalent to or
slow-wave sleep) in infants must be considered. Because
slow-wave sleep is considered the most restorative form
of sleep and is believed to have a significant role in
neurocognitive processes and learning, as well as in
growth, what might be the neurodevelopmental consequences
of chronically reducing deep sleep in the first
critical 12 months of life?"
Regarding Flat Heads. Here is a quote by Peter Fleming regarding moms and flat heads.
According to the Bristol University Website he has saved the lives of over 100,000 babies worldwide.
But Peter Fleming, the professor of infant health at Bristol University, who is an expert in cot deaths, is dismissive of the "syndrome". He is concerned that parents will start to put their babies to sleep on their fronts again. "This dramatically increases the risk that they will die by 10 times," he says. "This problem only exists in a health care system where they get paid to carry out work - so plastic surgeons will be involved.
"It is not something which is happening in the UK or Europe. In the UK babies will get slightly flatter heads from sleeping on their backs but there is no evidence it will do them any harm. It really is not a significant problem. My major concern is if people start putting babies to sleep on their side or tummy it will increase the risk they will die.
"I do not think it is a medical problem - it is more of a cosmetic one. Mothers may feel it is a syndrome and a problem when it really is nonsense."
However, he recommends that babies do not sleep in the same position every night and there is some variation in how they are placed to sleep.
According to Professor Fleming, in some Asian cultures a slightly flattened baby's head is considered to be attractive.
The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths is also concerned about the US report. A spokeswoman says: "This is a temporary problem which will correct itself. It would be absolutely appalling if parents stopped putting their babies to sleep on their backs. It is literally a matter of life or death.
Flat outBabies sleeping on their backs reduces the risk of cot death but may flatten their heads. Should we be worried, asks Helen Carter
Helen Carter The Guardian, Tuesday 8 July 2003
BTW, Peter Fleming is the same doctor who was part of the baby organ stealing inquiry in the UK although he was cleared it's quite interesting:
"The families of cot death victims were facing fresh agony last night after it emerged that hospitals kept organs from their babies' bodies.
They were used, without the families' knowledge or consent, in research by world expert Professor Peter Fleming.
The revelation has left hundreds of parents wondering whether or not they buried their baby's complete body. The scandal has just been uncovered through dogged inquiries by one mother, Sally Savage.
Mrs Savage, who became suspicious after reading about organs being taken at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool and elsewhere, said last night: 'Words cannot describe how it feels to lose a child.
'But to be told their organs have been taken from them is like losing the baby all over again.'
It has now emerged that organs or tissue were taken from 88 babies who died between May 1985 and April 1989 in the Avon area.
They were used for Professor Fleming's study of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome published in 1992."
Doctor kept baby body partsby CLARE KITCHEN and JENNY HOPE, Daily Mail
Biases by Dr. Kattwinkel - the head of the U.S. SIDS Task Force since 1992:
Here are some additional quotes that show other people are also concerned about the negative effects of the Back to Sleep campaign:
“Since the implementation of the ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign, therapists are seeing increasing numbers of kindergarten-aged children who are unable to hold a pencil.”
Susan Syron, Pediatric Physical Therapist
“There are indications of a rapidly growing population of infants who show developmental abnormalities as a result of prolonged exposure to the supine position.”
Dr. Ralph Pelligra regarding the impact of the Back to Sleep Campaign
“The increasing incidence of deformational plagiocephaly is likely related to the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and others that infants be placed to sleep on their backs.”
Persing J, James H, Swanson J, Kattwinkel J, Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, Section on Plastic Surgery, Section on Neurological Surgery. Prevention and Management of Positional Skull Deformities in Infants
“With regards to the mental developmental index scores, none of the infants with deformational plagiocephaly were accelerated, 90 percent were normal, 7 percent were mildly delayed, and 3 percent were severely delayed. With regards to the psychomotor development index scores, none of infants were accelerated, 74 percent were normal, 19 percent were mildly delayed, and 7 percent were severely delayed.”
Kordestani R, Patel S, Bard D, Gurwitch R, Panchal J. Neurodevelopmental delays in children with deformational plagiocephaly. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Jan;117(1):207-218; Note: Plagiocephaly is also referred to as “flat head syndrome”
Sign my petition and read more here:
"More Research on SIDS and Plagiocephaly"
on Petition Spot website