Posted by Julian Leoni on February 12, 2016
Can the utilization of new sleep aids, such as smart baby monitors and products to improve your baby’s sleep environment, help prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)? There are still about 4,000 sleep-related infant deaths that occur each year in the United States. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent SIDS, you can follow a few tips to improve Safety.
Smart Baby Monitors
Advancements in technology have produced both wearable and non-wearable baby monitors that track sleep activity and transmit real time data to concerned parents smart phones or tablets. This data includes Breathing Movements, Body Position (on the back or on the stomach), fall detection, proximity removal, and more. Your systems can be customized to alert you only when certain parameters are identified during naps or sleep.
Baby Monitors and Video Monitors cannot prevent SIDS. They must also never be mistaken as a substitute for a true sleep study if you think a problem exists. However, they are a tool a parent can use to provide real-time information on some of your baby’s basic sleep habits. At the very least you have the peace of mind that you can be notified if a potential problem arises.
Improve Your Baby’s Sleep Environment
Take a close look at the surroundings of your baby's bedroom. The crib or bassinet should be free from any pillows, sheepskin, fluffy toys, thick quilts, wedges, body position pillows, or bumpers as any of these pose a risk of suffocation. The bassinet or crib mattress should be firm with a fitted sheet, and verify that everything is meeting current safety standards or product recalls. If your baby falls asleep in other areas like car seats, swings, or strollers, move them to a firm surface at your earliest convenience.
Overheating should be combatted by dressing your baby in a single layer of clothing, and utilizing climate control devices like fans, air coolers, or air conditioners when necessary. Improving Bedroom Hygiene with Air Purifiers or crib protectors helps reduce the amount of dust, pollen, pet dander and smoke allergens in the air.
Consider Organic Sleep Surfaces
Newborn Babies can sleep up to 18 hours a day in their cribs. Mattresses are often dipped in chemical compounds that are used to create a fire barrier that can in turn create toxic gasses when combined with certain fungus or growths. Organic Cotton is an ideal material that is both natural and renewable. It is a healthier alternative to chemically treated foams and allergy-prone latex. An organic crib mattress combined with organic sheets can provide a sleep environment free from harmful chemicals and allergens to help prevent SIDS.
Ultimately the parent(s) are the first line of defense to help prevent SIDS. A baby should be properly swaddled without anything covering their face or mouth. Breast-feeding can lower the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%, although studies are still being performed to pin point why. Alcohol should not be consumed while breast-feeding. Smoking should not be done before the pregnancy, during, or around your baby. Be up to date with all of your babies recommended immunizations. While room sharing is protective against SIDS , co-sleeping increases a babies sleep safety by as much as 40 times.