All We Want Are the Facts, Ma’am

So as I go about researching and buying products for November the SIDS guidelines have pretty  much already been cemented in my head. Back is best. Flat, firm surface. Nothing in the crib/bassinet such as bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals. Don’t let baby overheat. Breastfeed as much and as long as you can. Sleep in the same room, not the same bed. Am I terrified about SIDS? Yes, of course! But first on my “terror list” is that my baby will die before he is even born, so I figure I have to get past the remaining 13.5 weeks of pregnancy and childbirth and actually give birth to a live child before I waste a lot of time worrying about this sort of thing.

A few days ago I received a text message from a well meaning friend with a link to the Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor suggesting I register for that. I mentioned that based on what I’ve read they weren’t considered “medical devices” that actually prevent SIDS, and that it’s not a replacement for following all of the AAP Guidelines – which, two of them are: “Do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors to help reduce the risk of SIDS” and “Do not use products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.”

Then came the inevitable anecdote, “Well, my friend’s cousin’s sister in law’s baby got whooping cough somehow, had a seizure and stopped breathing and nobody would haven’t known if the device hadn’t beeped”

There are several of these options out there – the Owlet, Snuza, Angelcare, Mimo – and really, if I wanted to buy the Snuza it’s only $100 and that’s not a lot of money in the grand scheme of how much I’m spending on cribs and mattresses and strollers and car seats, and I don’t want to be a”bad mom” if I don’t buy this thing and then something happens. I could definitely afford one, it’s not about the money. But then you read how they are not regulated by the FDA and there are no scientific studies backing up any claims that they actually detect or prevent SIDS. All you have are people’s stories. Yeah, it might buy some peace of mind. But I can imagine that some people would get lax with it – “Oh, I have the monitor, so I don’t need to be as careful about other things because the monitor will just alert me.”

Would it hurt anything to have one of these? I’m guessing it probably wouldn’t, at least not for me because I know that even if I had one I would still be vigilant about everything else and wouldn’t use it as a baby sitter. It might “hurt” if it’s always giving false alarms and I’m worried constantly because of it. But I am definitely one of those people who likes the PROOF. Show me the research, the science. Prove it to me. Do I think it’s necessary? No, not in the sense that some things are absolute necessities – for instance, you can’t leave the hospital without a car seat. You can leave the hospital without one of these monitors. I guess I’m just put off that already I feel like not having  one of these would make me a “bad mom” or someone who doesn’t care as much as another person.

Articles I’ve read:

http://www.cnet.com/news/can-tech-really-solve-sids-its-not-so-simple/

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/11/19/365008409/you-can-monitor-your-babys-vital-signs-24-7-but-should-you

Don’t Count on Smart Baby Monitors To Prevent SIDS

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/06/a-gadget-wont-save-your-baby-from-sids/

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2014/02/mimo_and_other_smart_baby_monitors_don_t_protect_from_sids_so_what_are_they.html

http://www.livescience.com/48810-baby-monitors-pricey-false-reassurance-sids.html

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13 Responses to All We Want Are the Facts, Ma’am

  1. Mamalife says:

    I dont have one honestly. i know I might get criticism for this, but I also co sleep with my kid. But or course I am careful, my bed is firm , there are no blankets or pillows on my bed. I kept him close to me to hear him breathe and feel him, I dont trust any monitor what if the damn thing shorts out under my child? I know it is highly and mostly
    Impossible. Also, its sooo much easier to breast feed when you co sleep, I got a good 3 hour stretch even as a newborn and it was godsend.
    I completely agree with you, we need to draw a line and no, you are not a bad mom because of one gadget.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am most worried too about just having a live birth where I take home my baby. After that, I worry about SIDS like you. I did some extensive research about mattresses before getting one, and ended up with a mesh breathable mattresss through a company called Secure Beginnings. They are not FDA approved for preventing SIDS, but several studies/tests have been done on the firmness and Carbon Monoxide levels let off from them. They are also several peditricians and the AAP who recommend this mattress. Needless to say, we bought it and although the science may not be definitive, it gives me peace of mind knowing it is quite low in risk in the areas thought to cause SIDs. Heres the site if u want to check it out (sorry if u already have!) http://www.securebeginnings.com/#!scientific-test-data/cjd5
    Hopefully this doesnt come across wrong, like pushy in anyway, just thought id share!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My friend has a monitor for their newborn and it tends to go off all the time when she’s sleeping really deeply and it stresses her parents out. Seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We were like you, did the research on SIDS. We threw a soother/pacifier in his mouth at every sleeping moment because the doctors told us the sucking action helps prevent SIDS. In our lives, if it helps prevent SIDS, it was considered a basic necessity. And we have never co-slept because I’m down right petrified of it.
    That said, like you we initially elected not to buy a Snuza Hero. But, at 2 or 3 days old we found ourselves running to the nearest toysrus with an infant to buy one. In fact, we’ve now bought two. Why? Mr. MPB couldn’t sleep, he’d obsessively be watching baby breath in the first few days/nights. And when he’d need to sleep, he’d wake me up to make sure i was watching – and I failed at that because I just wasn’t as worried (odd, I know). So, while the Snuza is not a SIDS preventer by any means, it gave my husband enough piece of mind that he could sleep. And that in itself made it a worthwhile purchase for us. That said, their customer service wasn’t great when ours stopped working within a few months after getting wet, they basically told me to screw off. But, my husband was back to not sleeping so I bought a second one. Also, we’ve had ours go off in the middle of the night twice, both times Mr. MPB slept through it because it’s actually pretty quiet a room away. But I shot awake and nearly had a heart attack. Baby was absolutely fine, it just shifted a bit and didn’t have good enough skin contact.
    But, all this said, my biggest piece of advice (even if you don’t really want it) is to do WHATEVER is best for your, your husband and most importantly your child. You already know what’s best for your child, so keep doing exactly that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jwhitworth7 says:

    Ugh. This is so hard. I too was SO worried about SIDS especially in the first few weeks. We did research too and spoke to our pediatrician about it. She highly recommended against getting those types of monitors. There are so many false alarms, etc she said we’d drive ourselves crazy and the standard SIDS guidelines are what is best to follow. Those companies are catering to parents fear. Who doesn’t want all the extra insurance they can get? Honestly I think what eased my fears is not having Luke in a separate bedroom until I knew he was strong enough to flip over both ways. I hope you come to a decision that is best for you and your husband and new son.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. RJ says:

    This is something that is highly personal. I do not plan on getting one but that could change (I know my husband is totally against it). For me, I have seen all kinds of crap happen and there are no guarantees that this would change anything. I have a co-worker who swore by one of these monitors and said it really gave him peace of mind (we are pediatric/PICU RN’s). So I say do whatever feels right to you (I know…so unhelpful). Good luck in your decision!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First of all, you are in no way a bad mom if you don’t buy one. You are right, there are no sound studies backing them up. That said, we have an owlet and I love it. I still follow the guidelines as much as we can, but just having the monitor gives me a little extra peace of mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sondra says:

    We were given a Snuza from a friend and I didn’t use it at all. I would just stay up half the night watching her breathe. That was until she became a tummy sleeper at only 3.5months before she could turn herself back over! This stressed me out bc I spent all night flipping her back over. But she kept turning herself in her sleep while I was sleeping. We used it for a month, but no longer need it. It doesn’t make you a bad mom though. This will not prevent anything, but may give you piece of mind. My advice would be to register for it, save the receipt, and take it back if you don’t need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jivf says:

    I know what you mean about it not being a necessity, even though some people may argue about that. Like the people who swear that if you’re not eating pineapple core on the day of your FET transfer you’re not doing everything you possibly can. If it was a necessity, it would be part of the protocol. It’s clearly a well-meaning but misplaced reassurance for people to feel in control.

    SIDS are just that – sudden. There’s no prevention and if there was it would be included in the official guidelines. There are people on both sides of the fence for pros and cons about these gadgets, but if getting one helps you feel better, go for it. There’s no right or wrong and you should do whatever gives you peace of mind. Also have some pineapple, just for fun 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So so so happy for you. It’s definitely getting real now. Enjoy these last few weeks!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. oneyeartofixthis says:

    Co-slept with all six kids. One had apnea so slept with her alarm system too. It is so exciting and I know that you are going to have a beautiful baby!

    Liked by 1 person

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