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WHAT IS SIDS?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of an apparently well baby. SIDS often occurs when the baby is asleep in their cot so people commonly use the term cot death or crib death. The term Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) is used when a death could result from a problem that the baby was born with or a fatal sleep accident. However, when no cause for the death can be identified, the term SIDS is used.
It is important for parents to remember that SUDI is rare and the risk of your baby dying is low. However, there are many risk factors that can be prevented when parents set up a safe sleep space for their baby. The purpose of this blog is to help provide information and education to parents so that all babies sleep in a low risk environment. Bubbaroo wants to help reduce SIDS incidences to zero!
FACTS ABOUT SIDS
According to Red Nose, “…in 2017 there were 87 deaths classified as sudden unexpected death in infancy” (which includes SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents). SIDS can most likely occur in the first 3 months of a baby’s life and is more common in baby boys. It also occurs more commonly in infants with a low birth weight or those born prematurely.
There has been much progress in the reduction of SUDI over the last few decades. According to Red Nose, SUDI deaths in Australia decreased by 85% between 1989 and 2016. This decline is directly linked to the public health campaign which promotes safe sleeping practices. One of the main messages is the use of the back sleeping position. It’s important to note that fatal sleeping accidents have not decreased in recent years, which is fairly troubling.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO REDUCE THE RISK OF SIDS?
Mothers can reduce the risk of SIDS by not smoking while pregnant or after the baby is born. The safest way to position baby for sleep is in the supine (back) position.When baby is placed on their tummy to sleep the digestive tract sits above the baby’s upper airways. This means that the upper respiratory airways are above the oesophagus (digestive tract). Therefore regurgitated milk can be more easily swallowed and aspiration into the respiratory tract less likely. Studies show that swaddling a baby from birth encourages baby to remain in the back (supine) position for sleeping and therefore decreases the risk of SIDS.
Here are the main Safe Sleeping Recommendations from SIDS:
– Sleep baby on back from birth, not on tummy or side to sleep
– Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
– Sleep baby with face and head uncovered
– Provide a safe sleeping environment day and night
– Breastfeed baby
– Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult care-giver for the first six to twelve months of life
There are many benefits to swaddling your baby. Swaddling promotes sleep and reduces crying time. Swaddling your baby can also help reduce baby’s response to pain and assist neuro-muscular development. Bubbaroo knows how to swaddle a baby. I invented the Joey Pouch Swaddle Wrap to help my son sleep better and for longer. When I was developing the Joey Pouch Swaddle Wrap, I met with SIDS & Kids (now Red Nose) in Perth to receive their expert opinion, before I took my product to market. They were very supportive of the idea of swaddling as research from the Washington University School Of Medicine suggested that swaddling a baby in the first few months of life helps babies remain on their backs and with fewer awakenings. Bubbaroo’s Joey Pouch Swaddle Wrap can help you to swaddle your baby safely.
TIPS FOR SWADDLING
These days the term swaddling can also be referred to as wrapping. Here are the recommendations for safe swaddling or wrapping:
- Ensure baby is positioned on their back with feet at the bottom of the cot
- Never place a swaddled baby on their tummy
- Ensure baby is wrapped from below the neck to avoid covering the face
- Sleep baby with face uncovered without doonas, pillows, cot bumpers, lambs’ wool or soft toys in the sleeping environment
- Use only lightweight wraps such as cotton or muslin (bunny rugs and blankets aren’t safe alternatives as they may cause overheating)
- The wrap shouldn’t be too tight and must allow for hip and chest wall movement
- Make sure that bub isn’t over dressed under the wrap. Use only a nappy and singlet in warmer weather and add a lightweight onesie in cooler weather. For more information on What to Wear refer to the TOG/Warmth button for the Joey Pouch or the Joey Pod Transitional Swaddle
- Provide a safe sleeping environment – safe cot, safe mattress designed for the particular cot, safe bedding and smoke free environment
- Babies must not be wrapped if sharing a sleep surface (including bed-sharing) with an adult
- When baby is able to roll from their back to their tummy and then onto their back again during supervised play (usually around 4-6 months), the use of a wrap or swaddling product needs to be discontinued. The child is now able to be placed to sleep in a safe baby sleeping bag with no hood such as the Bubbaroo Joey Swag baby Sleeping Bag.
BENEFITS OF USING A BABY SLEEPING BAG
Once baby is able to roll you should stop swaddling your baby and use a safe baby sleeping bag like our Joey Swag baby sleeping bags. When baby has moved to a baby sleeping bag there is no need to keep going in and turning them on to their back. Baby will find their own sleeping position. The risk of sudden infant death in babies over six months is extremely low.
A Bubbaroo Sleeping bag can give you peace of mind that baby is safely asleep. Our Joey Swag baby sleeping bag does not have any sleeves which is a safe sleep recommendation by Red Nose. A baby sleeping bag can keep baby warm all night long, so there is no need for extra blankets or head wear. All your baby needs is a clean, flat mattress in good condition and their sleeping bag. Our Bubbaroo ‘What to Wear Guide’ helps you to dress baby underneath the sleeping bag, according to the weather. We take the guesswork out of bedtime so you can sleep easy yourself – knowing baby is warm and safe all night long. Bubbaroo is passionate about supporting SIDS safe sleep recommendations.
You might like to read more on this subject and other relevant blogs by Bubbaroo…
Safe Sleep Recommendations
For further information regarding the safe sleeping recommendations please refer to www.rednose.com.au
For further information about room sharing with your baby, please refer to our blog Co-sleeping – is it safe or not?
Baby will spend a lot of time on their back when asleep. Therefore it is important to do lots of tummy time to counteract the time spent on the back. Please refer to our blog about plagiocephaly prevention here…
Coping with SIDS
To hear a mum’s real life struggle with SIDS and her inspirational method of healing, read our blog about Jenny McGregor.