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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Tips for positive parenting in 2012

Number 6.  Remember the ABCs of safe infant sleeping.

A parent puts a seemingly healthy four month old infant boy to sleep, and the baby never wakes up.  There is no greater tragedy.

Since the early 1990's the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has declined dramatically - from almost 1.5 cases per 1000 live births to less than a third of that number.   This decline has been attributed to  several practices that comprise the "A, B, C's" of safe sleeping.  Here they are.

"A" is for alone. Infants should not "co-sleep" with a parent in their bed, because this has been associated with "overlying" and consequent suffocation.

"B" is for back.  Infants should go to sleep for naps and at night on their backs.  It turns out that one of five infants who die from SIDS are in the care of someone other than their parents, and have been placed on their tummies -- "unaccustomed" prone position for sleep appears to be especially dangerous.  It is also advised that infants not be placed on their sides at the time of sleep, because of the risk of rolling onto their stomach.  Is it EVER safe for babies to be on their tummies?  Absolutely!  Tummy time (while awake) is important for encouraging muscle development and proper head shape.

"C" is for crib.   Infants should never be put to sleep on couches or on any bedding that is not infant-safe.  Not only is there a risk for falls, but soft, cushioned surfaces increase the risk of overheating and blockage of the airway, leading to the buildup of carbon dioxide.

One more point - mothers should avoid smoking during pregnancy and infants should NOT be exposed to second hand tobacco smoke, because both have been associated with an increased risk of SIDS.  For more, go to

Five shopping days till Christmas.  (When I look at my credit card activity, why do I feel like I'm running my own personal stimulus package??) Happy Holidays to All!!

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