Sunday 25 October 2009

Bedtime routines for babies - sleeping with a toy

Coroner's reports are excellent means by which society can learn from its mistakes. Absolutely. However, we can err on the side of insane.

For an inexplicable issue like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), for which there is no rhyme or reason for a death, we must work to determine this problem's etiology. But it is not failure to thrive* (which is identifiable), or neglect. SIDS is not an horrific accident in which, for example, a parent takes an infant to bed with them and they roll over on them.

The coroner is warning parents against co-sleeping because there were 12 deaths linked to co-sleeping in Ontario in 2008. A bed is a great place where a mother can breastfeed. I know, I did it myself. 

How delicate and yet strong these wee ones are. Lungs with the power to set us weeping. They can withstand much that we, as adults, could not handle. 

How crazy that *our* kids lived through learning to walk and talk and live in this world. I remember my son, Jesse, who insisted on going down to the basement to play when he was a toddler and tripping. I took him into emerge many times thinking this time he'd given himself a concussion. He had not. Just really wanted to move all the time!

Now, they are saying  “No bumper pads, no toys,no blanketsno anything,” and I find this so bizarre.

The Coroner's report is the big decision-maker in this situation. Best practice would mean that no one left their house, since by staying home no one would be hit by a car! Research and reality are two different things. As Annie says, 

The Ontario coroner says it is dangerous for babies to share a bed with their parents because of 8.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. That must mean it is dangerous to travel by car, because there were 8.8 deaths per 100,000 people. The Ontario coroner should be advising all Ontarians to avoid car travel. Travel by foot is much safer. We should ban cars.

In the region of Muskoka we had 11 drownings last summer. Will the Coroner's office demand that no one go swimming or on the lake? 

I am not alone in wondering about this.
It occurs to me that we can prevent all traffic deaths by keeping everyone at home. Another blogger had the same idea!

These studies, like those in education, do not necessarily apply to these well-trained, responsible families who choose to become parents. Each family is different, unique, each child has different needs. My granddaughter spent her first 6 months keeping my daughter awake until they found a sleep toy, now she has 4 bee-bees for home, crib, car and day care.

Also, have they reduced the number of deaths and serious occurences by not permitting a baby blanket or a baby toy in a crib? I bet not. Especially, high-risk children with social or emotional disorders who need comforting. The Coroner's office needs a before and after study to see if this does reduce deaths. I can understand how a child can get her head wedged in the side of a crib between mattress and rails. But this carries it too far.

How crazy that we cannot determine the difference between 'cluttered' cribs, and a child with a blankie to comfort them. How frustrating for both parent and child. In my day, we put kids to sleep on their tummies. No more. For babies who cannot sleep with a blanket or these little bedtime toys, as Josephine uses. A teeny stuffed animal head attached to a satin-trimmed small blanket (See the Giraffe above left). We call them her bee-bees!

Yes, kids are going to be 'safe' without a sucky blanket, but will they be happy and emotionally stable sleeping in a naked crib with nothing soft to hold on to? As Annie, PhD in Parenting says, "The Ontario coroner should stop telling people not to bed share and instead tell them how to make bed sharing safer. "



Failure to thrive (FTT) is a medical term which denotes poor weight gain and physical growth failure over an extended period of time

Drowning Statistics and incidents kept up on My Muskoka blog. There were 11 in three seasons of Muskoka Lakes.

Paediatric Death Review Committee Annual Report 2009 [PDF] 

Bill 115, an Act to Amend the Coroners Act was introduced in the Ontario Legislature on ......However any sleep surface that is cluttered with pillows, blanketstoys, ... month-old infant, with his head wrapped in a blanket in his crib ... safety regulations is the safest place for an infant to sleep...

Parents Canada - Developing - Baby - Explaining SIDS

A significant rise in preventable infant deaths from unsafe sleeping conditions, ... According to a recent report from Ontario's Office of the Chief Coroner, ... says Dr. Cairns. ... comforters or stuffed toys in the crib except for one small blanket tucked in..

8.8 deaths per 100000 population | PhD in Parenting

The Ontario coroner should be advising all Ontarians to avoid car travelTravel by foot is much saferWe should ban cars. How would that recommendation go?


The Weaver of Grass said...

I do so agree Jenn. We have to keep things like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in proportion. It is an absolutely terrible thing but it does happen quite rarely. If we followed all the instructions we are given, we would never leave the house. A sensible, safe, healthy approach to life is all that we can do - the rest is in the lap of the gods.
Interesting post.

SandyCarlson said...

Ah, the insanity! The games we play with numbers. Mind-numbing!

The pale observer said...

I totally agree. My hubby is from South Africa and when he looks at Canadian society, he is always amazed at the intrusive level our government is meddled in our personal affairs.

It's true! How can a coroner tell you not to allow your baby to sleep with you?! It's absurd. Have they ever proven this is the cause of the SIDS in those cases?? I bet one day a completely different causative reason will emerge. In the meantime, Canadians should practice thinking for themselves and taking all this with a grain of salt.