A plot of SIDS rate from 1988 to 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The last Friday in June is Red Nose Day in Australia. That’s today. Red Nose Day is all about promoting awareness of SIDS and how to prevent the sudden unexplained death of infants under 2 years old. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is, by its very definition, a mysterious killer.
Though we don’t have a perfect picture of why some babies die suddenly and seemingly without reason, we do know there are ways to lessen your risk factor. SIDS and Kids is an Australian organisation dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood and to supporting bereaved families. Red Nose Day is their annual fundraising day and awareness campaign.
Guidelines from SIDS and Kids for safe sleeping in infants under 2
1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months
6. Breastfeed baby Continue reading
Maybe this should be #1. Or maybe this highlights that this list is not necessarily in order. Because I really don’t want you to underestimate how very much I mean it when I say – You do Not need Cot Bumpers.
#3 Baby item you absolutely do not need: cot bumpers. In fact…. Please Do Not buy cot bumpers.
A cot bumper is padding that runs around the inside of a cot, supposedly to protect the baby from banging their head on the hard sides or getting any part of their body caught between the bars. But cot bumpers have been associated with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), strangulation, and suffocation, and can be very dangerous for your baby.
I can feel myself getting slightly stressed just writing about it. I began this list, this blog, and my consultation service largely because there are so many aspects of babycare that are confusing for parents and families. And no wonder, when there are things marketed to you as helping to keep your baby safe that are widely agreed to potentially lead to their death!! It’s incredible that things like cot bumpers are even allowed to be sold. If I could rip every cot bumper I see off the shelves, I would (maybe I should?). But, since the causes of SIDS are still yet to be fully understood, I suppose it’s not clear enough to ban them – though there are many advisories against them from health bodies around the world*. Continue reading