I really wish this post didn’t exist, but unfortunately it does. Some close friends of our lost their baby girl, Macie, one year ago today from SIDS (however, her cause of death is somewhat arguable). Here is a link to her mom’s blog if anyone is interested: www.angelbabymacie.blogspot.com. My heart honestly breaks for them. She was born 3 weeks after Rylee, so it was extremely hard to imagine being in their place. That funeral was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and I left praying to God that, if there was a choice, to please let Rylee live a full life and take me in her place.
I debated writing this post, but Macie’s death has changed my life forever. I can honestly say, I thank God everyday for letting me have one more day with Rylee. I will never take for granted each and every day I have with her because you just never know what the next day will bring.
I thought I would use this day to share with who ever might read this some of the ways to reduce the risk of SIDS. Here are the suggestions from the
of Pediatrics: American Academy
· Place your baby to sleep on his back for every sleep. Babies up to 1 year of age should always be placed on their backs to sleep during naps and at night. However, if your baby has rolled from his back to his side or stomach on his own, he can be left in that position if he is already able to roll from tummy to back and back to tummy. If your baby falls asleep in a car safety seat, stroller, swing, infant carrier, or infant sling he should be moved to a firm sleep surface as soon as possible.
· Place your baby to sleep on a firm sleep surface. The , bassinet, portable crib, or play yard should meet current safety standards. Check to make sure the product has not been recalled. Do not use a crib that is broken or missing parts, or has drop-side rails. Cover the mattress that comes with the product with a fitted sheet. Do not put blankets or pillows between the mattress and the fitted sheet. Never put your baby to sleep on a chair, sofa, water bed, cushion, or sheepskin. For more information about crib safety standards, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site at .
· Keep soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation out of the crib. Pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, bumper pads, and stuffed toys can cause your baby to suffocate. Note: Research has not shown us when it’s 100% safe to have these objects in the crib; however, most experts agree that after 12 months of age these objects pose little risk to healthy babies.
· Place your baby to sleep in the same room where you sleep but not the same bed. Keep the crib or bassinet within an arm’s reach of your bed. You can easily watch or breastfeed your baby by having your baby nearby. Babies who sleep in the same bed as their parents are at risk of SIDS, suffocation, or strangulation. Parents can roll onto babies during sleep or babies can get tangled in the sheets or blankets.
· Breastfeed as much and for as long as you can. Studies show that your baby can help reduce the risk of SIDS.
· Schedule and go to all well-child visits. Your baby will receive important . Recent evidence suggests that immunizations may have a protective effect against SIDS.
· Keep your baby away from smokers and places where people smoke. If you , try to quit. However, until you can quit, keep your car and home smoke-free. Don’t smoke inside your home or car and don’t smoke anywhere near your baby, even if you are outside.
· Do not let your baby get too hot. Keep the room where your baby sleeps at a comfortable temperature. In general, dress your baby in no more than one extra layer than you would wear. Your baby may be too hot if she is sweating or if her chest feels hot. If you are worried that your baby is cold, infant sleep clothing designed to keep babies warm without the risk of covering their heads can be used.
· Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. This helps to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you are breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is going well before offering a . This usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. It’s OK if your baby doesn’t want to use a pacifier. You can try offering a pacifier again, but some babies don’t like to use pacifiers. If your baby takes the pacifier and it falls out after he falls asleep, you don’t have to put it back in.
· Do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors to help reduce the risk of SIDS. Home cardiorespiratory monitors can be helpful for babies with breathing or heart problems but they have not been found to reduce the risk of SIDS.
· Do not use products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. Products such as wedges, positioners, special mattresses, and specialized sleep surfaces have not been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. In addition, some infants have suffocated while using these products.
Earlier, I had suggested that Macie’s death due to SIDS was arguable because Macie died in her babysitter’s care while sleeping in a swing. There is a chance that Macie really did die of SIDS, but there is also a chance that she may have suffocated due to her position in the swing. We will never know, but one thing I due know is I will NEVER let any of my kids sleep in a swing. Before Macie’s death, I honestly had no idea that it was dangerous to let an infant sleep in a swing. Most people actually told me that the swing was the best thing that happened to them and they let their kids sleep in them all the time.
While still in the hospital after Rylee was born, there were several video’s that we had to watch before we left. One video was about “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” Looking back, I cannot believe they do not require a video about SIDS. I know we were told to always put Rylee to sleep on her back, but there were so many things from the list above that we were never informed of. I’m pretty sure we were even told in our child birth class that we should use crib bumpers. Once I learned that they were a suffocation risk, I immediately removed them from Rylee’s crib.
We sure do miss you Macie. Thank you for teaching me to appreciate every moment!!
Rylee and Macie liked to cheer on the huskers together :)