How do you ease the fear of SIDS?

Raechil - posted on 08/06/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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SIDS is a common fear among mothers... especially first time mothers I assume.
What I want to know is how do you get past the fear?

My son Tristan is 2 months old and I am terrified. He refuses to sleep on his back or side and Ive been sleeping with him on the couch because I am so exhausted by the time I am able to sleep that I'm scared that if he's not right next to me I wont wake up when he does. The couch provides the comfort that I know I don't have the room to roll so I wont roll onto him but he still sleeps on his stomach.
He's good about waking up if he has any problems but sleep apnia runs in my family and it is a cause of SIDS. It's where whenever you get into the REM stage of sleep your body relaxes to the point where you stop breathing. In adults your body is able to wake you up to restart your breathing but in babies its more common that they just don't wake up.
I don't know how to cope with this information or get over the fear that they put into me at the hospital about SIDS.
How did you deal with it?

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Natalie - posted on 01/08/2012

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I know that this is a late post and I'm sure that your son has gotten old enough to rotate between his back and tummy by now, and I hope all is well with you and your family. Since other concerned parents will be looking at this I will give all the things that I have learned since my son passed away from SIDS on Oct 24, 2006.
There are monitors that are out on the market....some great, some not so great. When I had my daughter back in Feb 2010 I got a small monitor that clipped onto her diaper or pajamas called the Halo Snuza. I swear by that thing still to this day and it gave me some well needed sleep. She had stopped breathing once because she spit-up and was choking. I heard the monitor before I heard her, and I wrote to the manufacture thanking them for making such a good product. There is also the Angelcare monitor, it was okay.....but I had an issue with false alarms which made me a nervous reck.
Also I got a co-sleeper that attached to my bed. ****Warning*****Once your baby rolls over once or twice please stop using. I didn't know better and she rolled out in-between the bed and the co-sleeper. But it's great for the first 3 months or so.
If you have a crib and feel that you have to have a bumper because your afraid of either the baby bumping his/her head or getting their limbs stuck in the rails....I would suggest getting a 'breathable bumper'. It's made out of a soft mesh, and if the baby manages to wedge themselves in-between the rails and the bumper they can still breathe without much issues.
Don't overheat your baby. Make sure that the baby is wearing the same amount of clothes you are, or one extra layer. If the baby is sweating then change the clothes and remove a layer. Overheating has known to be a factor as well.
The final is get a pacifier. I know many people are against their child having one, but it's one of the things that could possibly prevent SIDS. It keeps an airway open in the event the baby rolls over onto their face, and it's easier to breathe out of the nose with the pacifier in their mouth.
All of these things can greatly reduce your baby's SIDS risk. I hope that I was able to help calm someone's nerves. God bless! :)

Kate CP - posted on 08/06/2011

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DO NOT co-sleep on the sofa! That is VERY dangerous (he could roll off the sofa, get smothered in the cushions, etc). Co-sleeping in bed is MUCH safer AND it reduces the risk of SIDS when done safely.

Rules of bed sharing with an infant:
1. No sheets, blankets, or pillows near the baby. Only a fitted sheet should be under the baby. To keep him warm you can layer his clothes or use a sleep sack (I LOVE sleep sacks!)
2. Use a guard rail or shove the bed flush against the wall and place baby between you and the wall to prevent the baby from rolling off the bed (though that is extremely rare).
3. DO NOT bed share if you are on sleeping pills, narcotics, alcohol, or any other substance that could impair your ability to wake up.
4. Do not bed share with an infant if you are already bed sharing with an older child.
5. If you are sleep deprived or overly-tired, do not bed share. You may be to exhausted to fully wake if your baby becomes distressed.

From the Mayo Clinic:
Although sudden infant death syndrome can strike any infant, researchers have identified several factors that may increase a baby's risk. They include:

*Sex. Boy babies are more likely to die of SIDS.
*Age. Infants are most vulnerable during the second and third months of life.
*Race. For reasons that aren't well understood, black, American Indian or Eskimo infants are more likely to develop SIDS.
*Family history. Babies who've had siblings or cousins die of SIDS are at higher risk of SIDS themselves.

Maternal risk factors
The risk of SIDS is also affected by maternal factors associated with the pregnancy, including:

*Mother under the age of 20
*Smoking cigarettes
*Drug or alcohol use
*Inadequate prenatal care

More info on bed sharing and co sleeping from Dr. Sears:
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-p...

Elfrieda - posted on 08/06/2011

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I had this overwhelming fear when my son was a newborn, too. I think it's natural, it's just a response to how much you love him and realizing that he's a person outside of you and really fragile, he could die, just like everybody else. It's a hard thing to deal with.



I think once you've done all you can to avoid SIDS (no bumpers, quit smoking or only smoke outside the house, no tangly bedding) you need to just focus on the fact that he doesn't really belong to you, God is just giving him to you for a while.



It helped me a lot to see it like that. I don't know if you're a believer, but for me it was a big relief to know that if I do my best, that will be good enough. Ultimately, God's in charge of my son's life, and he can do a much better job of protecting him than I can. I hope that helps. I know it's a really emotional time right after your baby is born, especially when you're sleep-deprived.



And I don't think you should equate "sleeping on stomach" = Certain SIDS. Our parents were told to put us on our stomachs, and my mom had the worst time, because her firstborn (me) wouldn't sleep on her stomach, just her back. Now they've reversed the advice, and it's all about putting them on their backs to sleep. I think at some point you just have to do whatever gets everyone the most sleep.

Brianna - posted on 08/06/2011

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I bought the angel care rechargeable movement and sound monitor. its a regular baby monitor except it also has a pad that u put under ur babys mattress and it senses movement so if u baby stops breathing a alarm will go off.

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Karen - posted on 04/22/2014

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How to Sleep your Baby Safely:

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

This is information from sids and kids new Australia
http://www.sidsandkids.org/safe-sleeping...

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Oh, and those co-sleepers are a great idea. I would have gotten one of those if I'd known about them before I had my daughter.

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If you can't safely co-sleep than make sure your baby sleeps on a separate surface as close as possible to you. I know what Kate said scared you, but it is important to be properly informed about these things if you want to lower the risk of SIDS. Close proximity to the mother lowers the risk of SIDS a lot, so place his crib right next to either your couch or your bed. I think the theory is that your breathing will regulate his. I am also thinking that the mattress in his crib would be a safer surface if he is sleeping on his belly, as they are designed specifically for babies. Keep any kind of bedding, bumpers or anything like that out of his crib. Use a sleeping bag instead. Don't use a hat. Should you be breastfeeding, keep it up. SIDS is such a frightening subject for all of us, I used to put my ear next to my baby's mouth so I could feel her breath because I was so scared. All you can do is reduce those risk-factors that you do have control over and then get on with enjoying your baby. I'm sure all will be fine.

Morgan - posted on 08/06/2011

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Try not to worry to much you will just make yourself crazy :) do what you thinks best for you and baby!!

Brianna - posted on 08/06/2011

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i got my angel care monitor from sears but ive also seen them at babiesrus

Raechil - posted on 08/06/2011

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The couch is an old style one thats really firm... It barely has cushions and I sleep on the outside. Our bed is way to soft and my bf moves too much so the sofa is the safer option. I know the risk factors and considering he's a boy 2 months old im 18 and a smoker and didnt make it to a doctor til i was like 5 months along already... that post scares me more than it helps. Thanks.

@Morgan... Do you know of somewhere I could get one? I asked the ped at the hospital and she said you cant get them anymore. She was rude and you could tell she didnt care about her job to begin with so I doubt it was accurate info to begin with...

Morgan - posted on 08/06/2011

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Invest in a angel care monitor, I have one and I say for the piece of mind it's priceless!!!! It has a pad that goes under baby's matress if for any reason your baby stopped breathing an alarm goes off :) my daughter was born with a heart condition, if it wasn't for this monitor I would have never slept!! Good luck

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