Tag Archives: Infant Sleep

Inclined Baby Products are Proven Unsafe

Crib Mattress recommended by physicians

Safe Sleep in Car Seats

Inclined sleep products are proven unsafe for your baby.  On October 31, 2019 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues a warning to parents and caregivers about the dangers of popular inclined sleep products for infants.  The CPSC is basing this warning on a scientific study they conducted.  This study is part of a growing body of evidence showing that inclined sleepers do not provide a safe sleep environment for infants. 

Study Data on Safe Sleep in Inclined Sleep Products

The CPSC received reports of 1,108 incidents, including 73 infant deaths, related to infant inclined sleep products.  These incidents and deaths occurred from January 2005 through June 2019. CPSC hired independent expert Erin Mannen, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer specializing in biomechanics, to conduct the testing. Dr. Mannen measured infants’ muscle movements and oxygen saturation while in various products and positions.  These products include a flat crib, an inclined crib, and several inclined sleep products.  Dr. Mannen’s findings reveal none of the inclined sleep products her team tested are safe for infant sleep. Dr. Mannen’s report is conclusive that products with inclines 10 degrees or less, with flat and rigid surfaces, are likely safe for infant sleep. Dr. Mannen’s findings also reveal soft and plush-like sleep surfaces pose dangers to infants.

It is not surprising that Dr. Mannen’s study concludes infants should be placed to sleep on a firm, flat surface in a crib or bassinet. 

Car Seats and Safe Sleep

So, what is the American of Pediatrics’ (AAP) take on infant car seats?  Infant car seats puts infants in an inclined position.  We all know infants fall asleep in the car.

The AAP advises against letting babies sleep in car seats, strollers and other sitting devices.  In a recent article published in Reuters Health, Dr. Jeffrey D. Colvin of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine told Reuters Health. “Car seats are for cars, and they’re not a substitute for cribs or bassinets,” Most infant deaths in car-safety seats happen when the seat is being used as a napping spot, rather than for transportation.

Ben Hoffman, M.D., chairman of the AAP’s Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention Executive Committee, agrees. “All the data that we have on car seats indicate that there aren’t risks associated with babies sleeping in the car for short periods of time when they’re properly restrained in a car seat that’s been installed with appropriate positioning.”

Car Seat Safe Sleep Data

Colvin and his colleagues reviewed U.S. data on 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths in 2004-2014, of which three percent took place in a sitting device, such as a car seat, stroller or bouncer. Car safety seats accounted for nearly two-thirds of these deaths, and when the sitting devices are being used as directed, less than 10 percent of the time.

According to the study, most deaths occur while a child is at home or at a friend or relative’s home, and while a child is being supervised by a parent or guardian. Deaths in sitting devices are almost three times more likely to occur when a child is being supervised by a child-care provider rather than a parent and are twice as likely when a babysitter is watching the child.

In many cases, infants are not strapped into the seat properly, Colvin notes. “What we are seeing a lot as well, is the infant is being placed in the car seat in the house for hours and hours, and the parent who is supposed to be supervising the child goes to sleep.”

Car Seats are Not For Sleep

Because car seats are safety devices, and the safest place for babies to be while in a car, parents and caregivers may mistakenly believe that the seats are safe for sleep too. Low-income families are often forced to let their child sleep in a car seat because they can’t afford a crib or a bassinet at home.

“All parents, including me, have been guilty of taking a sleeping infant in a car seat out of the car and not wanting to risk waking them up,” Colvin said. “The safest thing to do for a sleeping infant outside of a car is to place them in a bassinet or a crib, but at an absolute minimum, that infant should be directly observed and fully strapped in.”

Safe Sleep for Infants

The AAP continues to emphasize that the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard. Parents and caregivers should never add blankets, pillows or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs. 

According to the AAP;s 2016 Safe Sleep Technical report, air permeable surface may be preferable to air impermeable surfaces for infants who roll.  There are many safety features of a completely “breathe-through” crib mattress that the AAP recognizes as safe sleep for babies.

You can check www.cpsc.gov often to see if your nursery products have been recalled.  If your product has been recalled, promptly follow the recall instructions to receive a refund, replacement, or repair. Consumers who register their nursery products with the manufacturer’s registration card (included with nursery items) can be contacted directly by the manufacturer if there is a recall.

Hiccups May Help Babies Regulate Breathing

Breathable Crib Mattress

Scientists have discovered hiccups may help babies regulate their breathing.  Baby’s who can regulate their breathing are less likely to get in stressful situations while sleeping.

About the study:

In a study led by University College London (UCL), researchers monitored “13 newborn babies” and “found that hiccuping triggered a large wave of brain signals which could aid their development.” The study’s senior author Lorenzo Fabrizi said the observed brain activity might help babies “learn how to regulate their breathing muscles.” The study, which was published in Clinical Neurophysiology, suggests that hiccups “may play a crucial role in our development – by helping babies regulate their breathing.”

The highlights of the study reveal:

1)  Diaphragm contraction in newborns evoked a sequence of three event-related potentials.

2)  Hiccups can be encoded by the brain as early as ten weeks prior to average time of birth.

3)  Hiccups – frequent in newborns – provide afferent input to the developing brain

Ectroencephalogram (EEG) activity

The CNN Health Study tested whether diaphragm contraction provides afferent input to the developing brain, as following limb muscle contraction. In 13 infants on the neonatal ward (30–42 weeks corrected gestational age), ectroencephalogram (EEG) activity were analyzed.  EEG is a test that detects electrical activity in the brain.   All bouts of hiccups of the infants occurred during wakefulness or active sleep.

Why Hiccups May Help babies regulate breathing:

The study confirms, Involuntary isolated body movements are prominent in pre-term and full-term infants.  Hiccups are involuntary contractions of respiratory muscles, primarily the diaphragm.  Hiccups, observed in newborns, provides nerve impulses to the brain to the developing sensory cortices in pre-term and full-term infants – helping babies regulate breathing

Further, Hiccups are frequent throughout the human perinatal period during active phases of the infant. The perinatal period starts at the 20th to 28th week of gestation and ends 1 to 4 weeks after birth.  Involuntary contraction of the diaphragm can be encoded by the brain from as early as ten weeks prior to the average time of birth.

The study’s senior author Lorenzo Fabrizi states, “When we are born, the circuits which process body sensations are not fully developed, so the establishment of such networks is a crucial developmental milestone for newborns.”  This leads to our theory that hiccups may help regulate breathing in babies.

See the full study on why hiccups may help babies regulate their breathing here 

Helping babies regulate their breathing is an important safeguard for infant safe sleep.

 

 

Keep Baby & Toddler Safe at Home

Best baby crib mattress

Keeping baby and toddler safe at home can sometimes produce high anxiety.  We try to watch our kids every moment and be there to catch them for every tumble.  Unfortunately we cannot be there 100% of the time. It’s very important that we prevent injuries to our little ones as best as possible.One way is to identify and know hidden hazards around the home.

#1 Hidden Hazards in the Crib 

Many parents are unaware of the risks that a traditional crib mattress poses. Fiber-fill crib mattresses trap carbon dioxide.  If baby rolls over and breathes face down, or even has an arm or hand up near their face, there is a high risk of trapping and rebreathing carbon dioxide.  Rebreathing carbon dioxide leads to hypoxia, a form of suffocation.  In many instances, rebreathing deaths are coded as SIDS. 

One way of keeping your baby and toddler safe from this hidden danger while sleeping, is to use a Breathe-Through Crib Mattress.  The Safe Sleep Breathe-Through Crib Mattress is the only crib mattress where babies can breathe normally even if face down all night. There’s no crib sheet, or fiber fill to cause the hidden danger of carbon dioxide rebreathing.  Instead, the air permeable topper sits over a hollowed airspace producing constant airflow.  Baby’s face down can breathe normally right through the mattress without trapping carbon dioxide. BONUS: it’s made from recycled and eco-friendly products!

#2 Door Hinges

My son had a play date with his friend from school, and his mom had to cancel because he had a horrific injury happen. His middle finger was in the door hinge when someone closed the door and it cut the tip of the finger right off!

It is so sad to see our little friend sitting in the hospital with his cast.

After this happened. I was determined to prevent this hidden hazard.
I found some great solutions. They have many different door shield guards that are easy to install and protect against pinched fingers available on many e-commerce sites.

#3 Small Coins & Button Batteries can be Lethal Hidden Hazards

Always keep coins and button batteries far out of reach and tucked away where babies and toddlers cannot get to. According to poison control, “swallowed batteries burn through a child’s esophagus in just 2 hours, leading to surgery, months with feeding and breathing tubes, and even death.” SOURCE

If your child begins vomiting consistently for no apparent reason, chances are they swallowed  something that is lodged in the throat.  Many parents mistake this reaction as a food allergy.  Be sure to insist on a chest X-ray in the ER.  A chest X-ray can determine if your child did swallow something.

#4 Dressers, Bookshelves & TVs 

“In the U.S., a child dies every two weeks from furniture tipping over, and 42 percent of those fatalities occur in the bedroom.” (SOURCE)

We all probably remember that big IKEA recall due to the death of six children, but it’s not just IKEA furniture that poses a risk.

By securing all dressers, shelves, and TVs to the walls so if a child tries to climb up it, you can easily prevent this hidden danger.

#4 Things in the Crib

We have come a long way educating parents on safe sleep for babies, but we still have a ways to go because we see photos of babies sleeping in cribs packed full of stuff like pillows, blankets, bumpers, toys, and stuffed animals. NO. NO. NO. Please never have anything in the crib with your baby.These items all pose a hidden danger to your sleeping baby.

A SafeSleep Crib Mattress, the best breathe-through crib mattress for babies, and a wearable blanket on baby is all that should be in the crib EVER.

Get in the habit of not putting anything in the crib even during awake times. The crib is for sleeping and, babies can become confused if they play in the crib with toys.

#5 Crib Rail Covers

When babies start to teethe they chew on everything including the rails of the crib. Ingesting toxic chemicals and paint is a hidden hazard for baby, but there’s a simple solution.

KidKusion invented these amazing gummi crib rail covers that stick right on. Babies can now safely chew on their rails and get relief from the unique texture, but without ingesting anything toxic.

#6 Corners

When my little onestarted cruising around (holding onto furniture to “walk” around) anytime he was near a corner I would dash over to protect him. Kid Kusion has these awesome furniture edge and corner cushions to protect babies and toddlers from falling on sharp furniture.

#7 Eco Cleaners

Most parents lock up their cupboards so babies cannot get into cleaning products, but cleaning with toxic chemicals still harms your children.  Instead, make a swap for green cleaning products so that you and your family don’t have to be exposed to the hidden hazards in chemicals.

Favorite all time cleaners:

Let’s protect our little ones and make sure these hazards are not hidden anymore in your home. What other safety tips do you have?