Myths about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

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There’s not a lot that awakens your deepest mommy fears like SIDS does. But when is our fear justified and when are our worries unwarranted?

We have no idea what causes SIDS and therefore we cannot prevent it.

This is where most of our worrying starts. You can’t help but feel helpless against something that might be lurking around corners you are not aware of. But the truth is that although we can’t rule out other causes, studies have proven that a healthy sleep environment plays a big role in SIDS prevention. During a 1990’s campaign educating moms on putting their babies on their backs when it’s bedtime, the SIDS rate suddenly dropped by 50%. Ensure that your baby sleep in a crib or bassinet with a firm sleep surface with no loose bedding, crib bumpers or stuffed animals.

Letting a baby sleep on his back is a choking hazard.

This is an old-wives tale. Babies are born with basic survival instincts and many studies have proven that a baby who’s sleeping on his back will turn his head when spitting up.

Vaccines cause SIDS

There is absolutely no scientific proof of this, but rather plenty of assumptions. Babies get most of their vaccines under the age of 6 months. The chances that a baby whose death is due to SIDS has recently had a vaccination are very good. For mommy’s who are desperate to find a cause for SIDS, the link is easy to make, but unfortunately, unsubstantiated.

If I buy the smartest monitor my baby is safe from SIDS

The sad truth is that any monitor monitoring your baby’s vital signs only brings relief and comfort to the parents. Plus, many of these devices seem to have a mind of their own and alarms go off when there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Many frustrated parents end up simply turning them off. The best alternative to purchasing an expensive (and unnecessary) device, rather opt for room-sharing. This has been proven to reduce the risk of SIDS by 50%.

You have to make sure that your baby is ALWAYS sleeping on his back.

This is false…and also impossible. Your baby can start rolling from as early as 3 months. If you have to flip your baby every time he rolls over you will literally have to monitor your baby throughout the night and for no reason. Besides the fact that the risk of SIDS reduces dramatically after 6 months, studies have shown that babies who start rolling over have brains that have matured enough to get themselves out of certain sticky situations and also becomes aware when they find themselves in distress and will alert you.

SIDS is a scary topic, but when we educate ourselves, we are empowering ourselves against many unfounded fears.

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