We’ve all heard the scenario – a new mother brings her baby home from the hospital and the family members start pouring in – along with their unsolicited advice.
Whether it’s good advice or bad advice, it’s something that every mother seems to go through. This story though takes the cake.
My friend, who recently had her first baby, was telling me about her family coming to visit during the first few weeks after the birth of her son. A close family member asked the new mother how she wanted him to be laid down in the crib. “On his back, that is what the pediatrician and my obstetrician told me was the best” my friend urgently sputtered out.
After about 10 minutes the family member proceeded to say “by the way, I put him on his stomach; I think he will sleep better that way.”
My friend frantically flew into her newborn sons’ room, picked him up and flipped him over to his back, knowing that babies should be put ‘back to sleep’. She explained to the less then helpful family member that studies show the overall rate of SIDS has decreased by almost 50% since the campaign started.
That number speaks volumes.
You have heard of this, right? Putting your baby ‘back to sleep’ – it’s a way to help parents remember to put their baby on their back when they lay them down to sleep.
In 1994 the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) started this campaign to help educate parents and people caring for infants to reduce the risk of SIDS.
This little gem of information may be something s younger generations of mothers know since it has been nationally promoted for the past 17 years. Make sure you share this information with Aunts, Grandma’s, and Cousins – anyone who might have a child over the age of 17 and may be caring your child at some point.
Before that time, that information somewhat floundered. My own mother told me that when she had all 3 of her children, the advice was never the same. For one baby it was recommended to put the baby on their tummy to sleep, the next it was recommended to put the baby on their back to sleep and so forth.
Here is what the NICHD Back to Sleep Campaign recommends:
- Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, even for naps
- Place your baby on a firm mattress, such as in an approved safety crib
- Remove soft, fluffy bedding and stuffed toys from your baby’s sleep area
- Make sure your baby’s head and face remain uncovered during sleep
- Do not allow smoking around your baby
- Do not let your baby get too warm during sleep
- Talk to childcare providers, grandparents, babysitters and all caregivers about SIDS risk
Make sure to talk with everyone that may be caring for your baby about the Back to Sleep Campaign. You can even order fun magnets with the information on it as a helpful reminder.