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  • The Dangers of Side Sleeping – Baby Sleep Safety

    dangers of side sleepingAs we know, it’s imperative that babies sleep on their backs to reduce the likelihood of SIDS. Years of research has shown that it’s best for a baby to sleep on his back in a crib without pillows, blankets, toys or bumpers, as all of these can be suffocation hazards. (This goes for naps too!)

    Around four months, however, babies have developed enough strength and control to roll on to their sides. This is a concern for many parents. A baby sleeping on his side runs an equal risk of succumbing to SIDS as he would sleeping on his stomach, but he hasn’t grown out of the age where SIDS is a concern.

    Some parents try to pull their child’s arm outwards and perpendicular to their body to act as a stabilizer. This way, if they roll a bit, they physically stop themselves from rolling too far. But this isn’t really a solution. By this age, babies have plenty of control over their arms.

    When we were at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference, many doctors reported that one of the most frequent questions they received from parents was what to do when their children roll on to their sides or stomachs during the night, but aren’t able to roll back. The doctors admitted that they didn’t have an answer for this as they don’t want parents going in repeatedly during the night to turn the child back.

    Several doctors pointed out to us that they felt the Slumber Sleeper held a distinct advantage over other baby products in this regard. You see, the Slumber Sleeper has what one might call a self-regulating quality that prevents babies in the five month range (the window when rolling starts but SIDS risks remain) from moving themselves into an unsafe position.

    We don’t want to constrain our children. Some movement is necessary for healthy sleep. As Dr. Sears says, “freedom of breathing implies freedom to adjust body position as needed.” The Slumber Sleeper is not a rigid positioner, but it provides just the right amount of resistance to keep children of this particular age still.

    Yes, in the short term, your five-month-old child will find the resistance of the Slumber Sleeper frustrating, but that is far better than gambling against SIDS. Until you pass the 6 month threshold, safety is far more important than comfort. Furthermore, like we were told at the conference, this is a big issue that parents are concerned about, so it needed addressing.

    In the long term, however, your child will age out of this window and the risk of SIDS will reduce dramatically. Within a very short period, your child will have the strength and dexterity to turn forward and backward within the Slumber Sleeper and can sleep as they wish. This is the point at which children look forward to the routine they have in the Slumber Sleeper and bedtime becomes even more enjoyable for the child. With their new found strength they can now move around as they wish while still staying centered in the crib. Magic!

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

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