They're only now figuring this out???

"Nearly Half of Crib Deaths Tied to Sleep Position"
Via Reuters:

Findings from a European study suggest that about 48 percent of crib deaths are attributable to the baby sleeping on its front or side. Sleeping in a room other than the parent's room was linked to 36 percent of cases, and 16 percent were linked to bed sharing.

They're only just figuring this out in Europe? Or maybe Reuters, as usual, is behind the times? Gods, I was told thirteen months ago to position my baby on her back when she slept, at least until she could reposition herself in the night.

We also knew to avoid putting fluffy things in her crib; my husband was encouraged to quit smoking because it could increase the risk of SIDS; and we were sternly warned against drinking and co-sleeping. (Not that it ever happened, anyway.)

B. was in a bassinet for the first two weeks. After that, we moved her into her crib in her own room, and used a baby monitor when she was sleeping. I just could not sleep with her in the same room as us. I was tensed; poised to respond to every little noise. To this day, my sleep is lighter than it was before she was born. Part of me stands watch, as it were, just in case she calls out for me.

This bit in the article got to me:

Maternal alcohol use was identified as a significant SIDS risk factor, but only when the infant shared the bed all night, the researchers report.

What kind of irresposible, trashy bitch does that? Drinks and then sleeps with her baby? I know it happens, but still, the whole thought of rolling over onto my baby, while sober, even is what turned me off to the idea of co-sleeping. I think I've had four drinks since B. was born. Each time, she was spending the night at Grandma's, because the thought of sleeping so heavily that I can't hear her tears at my heart. It's the image of her standing there with a real need, tear-streaked and miserable, all alone and uncomforted in the wee hours, that gets to me. I could never do that to her.

Never mind getting drunk, and smothering my very reason for being.

My mind just ran through a whole gamut of responses to the very image of a mother who could get drunk and endanger her tiny, helpless baby. Phrasing it carefully, the impulses are less than pacifistic.

Life with a baby becomes a titch less worrisome when your little one learns how to roll over in the night. I remember being really worried about it, the first time I came in to check her, and saw that she was on her tummy. I was so concerned that I called the pediatrician. His response was delightfully sensible: "If she got herself over, she can get herself back, or holler for you if she gets in a bind."

Today, she sleeps with 'Raffe and Winston. 'Raffe is a plush giraffe with a rattle in his butt. I picked him up when I was 13 weeks pregnant. Winston is the bear her father and I made for her at the "Build-a-Bear Workshop". (Did you know that they give you tiny little plush hearts to bless, and make a wish on, before they insert it in the toy? I digress.) She sleeps on her tummy, with her butt in the air, and turns somersaults all night long. When she gets up in the morning, her hair resembles the head feathers of a fledgling grackle. She usually wakes up with some sort of statement, or a giggle.

I sleep a little better, now. I only check her a couple of times during the night. I keep the monitor next to my head, just in case.

I'm so blessed; so rewarded in my little girl. It just tears at me to think that there are people out there who could have such casual attitudes toward their own children.

Life changes when you become a parent. Selfish behaviors have to die. It's all right to do adult things, but before you do something, stop to consider whether or not your adult fun might endanger that tiny little person who depends on you for protection.

If it endangers them, and you do it anyway, then you're a selfish piece of shit who doesn't deserve the blessing of a child.

posted by Linda on January 16, 2004 06:05 PM