Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is defined as the sudden death of a healthy baby under the age of one. The rate of SIDS dropped between 1984 and 2004, which many attribute to the efforts of the American Academy of Pediatrics to get parents to put the baby to sleep on his back. The reason for this new guideline is that many people think SIDS occurs when they breathe and then re-breathe carbon dioxide in the air. When a baby is on his stomach, the carbon dioxide traps near the face.
Preventing SIDS is still necessary. While the incidence of SIDS has dropped over the years, it is still a very serious risk for babies. Fortunately, however, us parents have several ways to help reduce the chance of SIDS and protect our little ones:
- Consider sleeping separately from your baby. The blankets, pillows and sheets on an adult bed might accidentally suffocate a baby. In addition, sleeping parents might accidentally smother the baby. Instead, place the baby in a bassinet or co-sleeper that sits against the side of the parent’s bed.
- Use mesh bumpers on the crib if you feel the need to use crib bumpers. Big, soft bumpers and baby quilts are pretty to look at but may be dangerous to the baby.
- Use a pacifier. Studies show that babies who use a pacifier while sleeping are two-thirds less likely to die of SIDS.
- Avoid smoking. Secondhand smoke may increase the risk of SIDS. If there was ever a good reason to stop smoking, this is it.
- Keep the room temperature comfortable. While some parents may think the baby needs to sleep in a very warm room, this is not necessary. Place the thermostat at a comfortable sleeping temperature for adults and use a sleep sack for the baby if you are concerned that the baby will be cold.
SIDS is unspeakably tragic. Fortunately however, reducing the risk of SIDS is possible through consistent efforts on the part of the parents. Speak with your pediatrician for more information and get other tips on how to keep your baby safe and about preventing SIDS.
What is colic?
Doctors diagnose colic by the rule of three: otherwise healthy, well-fed babies that cry more than three hours a day, three days a week and for more than threeweeks have the condition. Approximately 25% of babies have colic. Symptoms generally begin a few weeks after birth and improve by age 3-5 months. 1
Anecdotally, colic is described by parents as frequent periods of high-pitched, intense crying by their baby. During these episodes, babies are inconsolable and appear extremely uncomfortable; they are often flushed, have clenched fists, curled legs, arched backs, or have tense muscles during their crying jags. Today, many doctors acknowledge that colic is accompanied by physical pain in the baby’s gut or abdominal area.2.
What are the symptoms of colic?
Most healthy babies experience unpredictable crying bouts or periods of fussy behavior throughout development. Babies diagnosed with colic display the following symptoms:
- Predictable crying episodes, usually at the same time every day. The crying may last several minutes to several hours and tends to start suddenly and for no specific reason.
- Intense, inconsolable crying. Cries may often be high-pitched.
- Physical changes in posture, such as curled up legs, clenched fists or tense abdominal muscles.3
What are the possible causes of colic?
The exact cause of colic remains unclear, however experts agree that there are several contributing factors that, either by themselves or together, may contribute to the condition, including:
- An immature digestive system.4 Muscles that support digestion may not yet be fully developed. Newborns also lack bacterial flora (i.e. probiotics) that develop over time to help aid digestion. These factors may explain why babies outgrow colic within a few months.
- Acid reflux.5 The backward flow of stomach contents into the esophagus causes spitting up and physical discomfort.
- Trapped air or gas in the intestinal track.6 Infants can swallow air while feeding, causing gas and bloating in the abdominal area.
- Allergies or food sensitivities.7 If breastfeeding, babies can be allergic or sensitive to certain foods consumed by the mother. If formula feeding, babies may have an intolerance or sensitivity to certain proteins or lactose.
Do you suspect your baby is suffering from colic or colic-like symptoms?
We can help. MAM Anti-Colic bottles feature a patented vented bottom designed to regulate air pressure and reduce baby’s intake of air bubbles while feeding. Research shows that MAM Anti-Colic bottles reduce colic symptoms in 80% of babies with colic.
In addition to its effectiveness in reducing colic symptoms, they are known among parents as the perfect bottles to switch between breastfeeding and bottlefeeding due to the design of the nipple. Wide at the base and made of ultra-soft silicone (the same as MAM silicone pacifier nipples), it was specifically designed to closely resemble the breast and all but eliminate nipple confusion. Furthermore, we know how important time is to our MAM Moms and Dads. Eliminate time scrubbing, swabbing, brushing, boiling, etc. by simply sterilizing your anti-colic bottle in the microwave in the simple 3-minute process pictured below.
Check out our anti-colic bottle in Walmart in February 2012, and Shopper's Drug Mart in March 2012!
Baby wearing, the practice of wearing your baby on your body in a sling or a wrap, is rapidly gaining popularity worldwide and has recently caught fire in Canada. Many people are wondering: is this trend just that, a trend, and nothing more? Or are there real benefits to it for myself and my baby? We looked into it a bit and wanted to share some insight on an interesting study performed by Dr. William Sears on the matter.
Dr. Sears, a world-renowned pediatric expert and a father of eight, is a staunch proponent of baby wearing. He actually coined the term for it in 1958, and cites his own experience as a father as evidence that a baby who is worn close to mother or father’s body is far calmer and less prone to crying spells than other babies who are not worn in this manner. Knowing that anecdotal evidence, even from an expert like himself, will not suffice for choosy moms and dads like yourselves, he references a six-week study which finds that infants carried in a sling or carrier for at least 3 hours a day are at least 43% less fussy than babies who are not[i]. Babies who are worn, it is observed, cry in spells of minutes rather than the Western standard of an hour or more. Other cultures—including South American culture in which baby wearing is known as Aguayo, Korean culture (Podaegi), and Chinese culture (Mei Tai)--simply do not accept that it is normal for babies to cry for long periods of time; these cultures place a high emphasis on babies constantly being in close contact with a caregiver’s body, except when put to sleep. In the time worn babies spend not crying, they are instead in a state of quiet alertness, learning from their close proximity to father or mother and taking in the world around them. This heavy involvement in mother and/or father’s daily life is suggested to help baby develop more quickly than non-worn babies who are arguably more removed from their parents daily lives and do not have the opportunity to constantly observe parents’ voices, scents, and facial expressions. For all of these reasons, Canadian parents are increasingly looking to baby wearing to give their babies the best start in life.
What do you think, MAM Moms and Dads? Do you support Dr. Sears' assertion that baby wearing is better than alternative methods? Do you believe it is irrelevant, or possibly even harmful to baby? Please share your ideas and opinions with us and the community; we would love to discuss and learn from you!
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Post your comments below with the types of topics you want more information on. Whether it is about MAM products or not, we want to know what you are interested in! Throughout the weeks to come, we will make every effort to include the topics you suggest.