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 more adorable than a little grin full of healthy baby teeth? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you keep your baby’s cute smile in tip-top shape by providing the absolute best oral care possible!
- Oral care should begin from birth.
One of the most common questions we hear in speaking with our wonderful MAM Moms and Dads is “When should I start providing oral care for my baby?”. A common misconception is that oral care need only begin from the emergence of the first tooth; in truth, however, oral care needs to begin from birth. Twice a day, a clean, wet washcloth can serve as an effective tool for you to massage bacteria off your newborn’s gums. Not only will this clean baby’s mouth, but the routine familiarizes baby with the routine of cleaning the mouth- this will be incredibly helpful when it comes time to begin brushing baby’s teeth. Another option, rather than a washcloth, is the MAM Oral Care Rabbit. Especially designed to expertly clean baby’s gums, the Oral Care Rabbit features ultra-soft microfiber ears parents can slip their fingers into for easy, effective maneuvering about baby’s mouth that a bulky washcloth does not allow.
Cleaning baby’s gums is simple and enjoyable with the MAM Oral Care Rabbit.
2. Baby’s teeth need to be brushed daily.
We know—life with a baby is hectic and jam-packed with activity! Certain things can be lost in the shuffle and at the end of a long day, brushing baby’s teeth may slip. This, however, should really not be the case: it is simply too important! With your baby’s first tooth—which most babies will receive around 6 months of age, although variations in age of first tooth emergence are very common-- comes plaque formation on that tooth. Brush baby’s teeth at least twice a day (once after breakfast, and once after the last feeding of the day) to avoid cavities and painful infections.
Brushing technique: First brush the bottoms of your baby’s teeth, where the most contact between foods and teeth occur. Use a circular brushing motion with the bristles of the toothbrush aiming down, where the tooth and gum meet as this is where the majority of plaque forms. Use gentle up-and-down strokes while holding the brush vertically.
3. Make brushing time easy for parent and baby- minimize struggles with these techniques.
Brushing does not need to be a struggle between parent and child. To normalize the routine of brushing your baby’s teeth and therefore make it less of a struggle between parent and baby, try a few of these techniques:
- Link it with another daily routine. In the morning, brushing can be linked to getting dressed, followed by brushing, followed by breakfast. At night, brushing can precede a bedtime story and giving baby a pacifier.
- Set a great example for your little one. After all- monkey see, monkey do! Your baby looks up to you, naturally. Seeing you brushing your teeth is the ultimate motivator for your little one to do so as well. They want to be just like mommy and daddy!
- Come up with a silly brushing song that spans the two minutes or so it takes to brush. We all know how much babies love to sing- adding this element to brushing time can be the difference-maker between brushing being an exhausting chore or a fun bonding experience.
- Invoke your baby’s wild imagination. Come up with a brushing story- such as your toothbrush is their favorite animal, and is running around the jungle, eating up the germ bugs. Adding fun to the equation makes the experience nicer for everyone- the lack of resistance this can result in is just priceless.
- Involve your baby. Supervise them while they use the MAM First Brush or allow them to hold onto the brush with you using the MAM Trainer Brush, and encourage them to squeeze just enough toothpaste with you to cover the red indicators on their MAM toothbrushes. We designed our toothbrushes with this indicator based on the amount of toothpaste recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry- but all your little one needs to know is that this is a fun little task that they can work with mommy and/or daddy on!
4. Avoid these common mistakes.
These are some common mistakes parents make related to oral care. Most often they occur due to incorrect advice from peers or just due to parents playing copycat without realizing that these techniques are not advisable.
- Do not ‘clean’ your baby’s pacifier by inserting it in your own mouth. The bacteria in your saliva can seriously harm your baby as their immune system is much more fragile and less-developed as yours.
- Similarly, do not share cutlery with your baby and do not allow siblings or family members to share toothbrushes.
- Teething gels are commonly recommended as a solution for teething. These gels should most likely be avoided for children younger than 2- the FDA has issued a warning to consumers about the use of benzocaine, the main ingredient in many of these over-the-counter gels intended to relieve teething pain in babies younger than 2. Benzocaine is associated with a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia, which greatly reduces the amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream. Because of this, the FDA recommends that benzocaine products should not be given to children younger than age 2 unless under the supervision of a health care professional.
We hope you find this post helpful as you look into providing the absolute best oral care for your little one! What did you find especially interesting? Are there additional questions you have? Please let us know in the comment section below- we look forward to hearing from you!
For additional information on MAM Oral Care:
- Watch our MAM Oral Care Video on YouTube
- Check out the MAM Oral Care section of our website: http://bit.ly/mamoralcare
 . "FDA Drug Safety Communication: Reports of a rare, but serious and potentially fatal adverse effect with the use of over-the-counter (OTC) benzocaine gels and liquids applied to the gums or mouth." FDA- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA, 04-07-2011. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm250024.htm>.
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!
How often do you get to voice your thoughts on the type of topics you receive updates on in your inbox? Well, here is your chance! We at MAM know that you are bombarded with tons of emails and information, so why not pick the topics that interest you? Our goal for the MAM Blog is to provide our MAM Moms and Dads with tips, product information and hopefully usefull facts to help them in their day-to-day lives.
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.
No matter the age, children are always inquisitive and curious about the world around. As they get older and increase in mobility their need to explore grows and can sometimes lead to trouble. As a parent it is important to make sure that your house is a safe environment for your child whether they are 1 day old or 2 years old. Here are a few tips from Parenthood.com for making your home safe:
Be sure the crib mattress fits snugly. You should be able to slide just one finger between the mattress and the side rails and headboard, so your child can’t slip between the mattress and crib.
Set your water heater to 120 degrees F or below.
Keep coins, small toys, nail scissors, and balloons
Shorten drapery and blind cords.
Lock any potentially dangerous substance in an upper – level cabinet. This includes alcoholic beverages, household cleaning formulas, laundry supplies, medications (including nonprescription varieties like vitamins, children’s Tylenol or Advil), paint, kerosene, gasoline, charcoal, lighter fluid, bug spray, pesticides and fertilizers.
Keep a bottle of Ipecac and activated charcoal in your home, but use only when instructed by a medical professional.
Cover every electrical outlet in your home with a child-resistant outlet cover (the plastic plugs are easy to pry out).
Place screened barriers around fireplaces, radiators, and portable space heaters.
Install hardware-mounted safety gates at the top and bottom of stairways with two or more steps. Pressure-mounted models may not be strong enough.
Position audio/video equipment so children cannot pull televisions or stereos off furniture.
Secure bookshelves, entertainment centers, and bureaus to walls since they can topple onto children who use furniture to pull up and stand.
For additional safety tips on baby-proofing your home please visit Parenthood.com.
Is your home ready for baby? What have you done to keep your baby safe?
With Father's Day coming this Sunday, we would like to take this time to ask all of our MAM Dads what tip they would give to any first time Fathers? Whether it's something you learned after your little one was born or a helpful tip someone shared with you, we want to hear it. Post your comments below!
We're a few days early but Happy Fathers Day to all of our MAM Dads!