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Sleep Positioners are a No-No

In case you haven’t read the news in the last week (you poor, sleep deprived you), sleep positioners have been declared a no-no. They’re often used to  keep baby on their back while sleeping, thus preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but evidence is showing the contrary. According to the NY Times, the positioners have, “led 12 children to suffocate in the past 13 years and should no longer be used,” said FDA officials.

Sleep positioners usually come in two different varieties:flat mats with side bolsters or inclined mats with side bolsters. I know the latter are sometimes used by parents for helping their baby sleep at a upward position–hoping to help with their baby’s colic and/or infant reflux. A safer method can be to angle the crib/bassinet mat by putting two or three receiving blankets underneath one end. The head will then be gently elevated without fear of having something soft near the mouth, which in turn can cause suffocation. Another method that some parents swear by is having their child sleep in a vibrating chair–they say that the vibrations can also help with baby’s gas.

Whichever method you choose, make sure you don’t put baby to sleep on his/her stomach. Parents can be so desperate for a good night’s rest that they will do this, stating that their baby sleeps much more soundly on their stomach. However, according to the NY Times, “SIDS rates have dropped dramatically since 1992, when parents were first told to put babies to sleep on their backs or sides to reduce the likelihood of SIDS.” You can’t argue with statistics, so please don’t be tempted to have baby sleep on his stomach.

*Please keep in mind that we are not medical professionals, always ask your pediatrician.

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