Hi today I am going to talk a little about cot death or SIDS why well because this morning I saw a story about putting babies to sleep in a cardboard box to help prevent SIDS the report said they have been used in Norway and Finland since the 1930’s.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) is a term used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby. SUDI may be the result of a serious illness or a problem that baby may have been born with, but most SUDI deaths occur as a result of either SIDS or a fatal sleep accident.
When no cause for the death can be found, it is called ‘SIDS’.SIDS, is the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently well baby. In Australia in 2013, 117 babies died suddenly and unexpectedly, of those deaths, 54 were identified as SIDS. Despite these deaths, SIDS is rare and the risk of your baby dying from it is low.
Most deaths happen during the first 3 months of a baby’s life. If a baby is born premature or with a low birth weight they are at greater risk, and SIDS is also more common in baby boys. Most unexpected deaths occur while the child is asleep in their cot at night.
I remember when my girls where babies I would go and check on them during the night often placing my hand on their chest to make sure they were breathing if couldn’t tell by looking at them. Also I used the baby sleeping bag thing for them to sleep in during the colder months to keep them warm over using a blanket to cover them.
What the box contains pictured above
However, SIDS can also occur when a baby is asleep during the day or, occasionally, while they are awake. Mothers can reduce the risk of SIDS by not smoking while pregnant or around the baby after it is born or while breastfeeding and always placing the baby on their back when sleeping.
Finland has one of the world’s lowest infant death rates of just 3.3 per 1000 in 2013, compared with Australia at 10 per 1000. However, many experts say that the use of a box for baby to sleep in does nothing to prevent SIDS, this mother can see the logic behind it the box isn’t much bigger then the baby there is no room for a pillow which we all know shouldn’t be used with a baby but still far too many mothers do use because they thing the baby looks uncomfortable. The baby isn’t able to roll onto its stomach, there is no room for stuffed toys so really all round safer.
In Finland expectant mothers are given the box in what is a starter kit with clothes, sheets and toys, the maternity package is a gift from the government, here in Australia all new mums can get a baby bundle which is also a free gift from the government, however it doesn’t come in a box that can be used for baby to sleep in and I think maybe it should.
The box in Finland also contains a mattress in the bottom so the baby is sleeping on something. Mothers have a choice between taking the box, or a cash grant, currently set at 140 euros, but 95% opt for the box as it’s worth much more.
Babies who die of SIDS are thought to have problems in the way they respond to these stresses and how they regulate their heart rate, breathing and temperature. Although the cause of SIDS is not fully understood, you can reduce the risk. By doing the following.
Place your child on their back to sleep. The safest place for them to sleep is in a cot in a room with you for the first 6 to 12 months.
Do not smoke while you are pregnant or after your baby is born, and do not let anyone else smoke in the same room as your baby.
SIDS and Kids recommend sleeping a baby in a cot next to the parent’s bed for the first 6-12 months of life.
Don’t have baby sleeping in the same bed as yourself, although I did with all my girls and grandbabies.
Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or an armchair, did this too
Do not let your baby get too hot.
Keep your baby’s head uncovered. Their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders.
Place your baby on their back to sleep from the very beginning, for both day and night sleeps. This will reduce the risk of cot death. It’s not as safe for babies to sleep on their sides as on their backs. Healthy babies placed on their backs are not more likely to choke.
When the baby is old enough to roll over, don’t prevent them from doing so, how you are to do that they can’t tell you.