Friday, September 11, 2009

Gloomy day, and info on SIDS

Friday has arrived and gloom has settled over our place. It has been raining heavily since sometime in the night, and the house is darkened significantly. It is the kind of day that makes me want to bake. Silly. Or, curl up in bed with a really good book and just read all day. Obviously that is not an option, but Jamie and Micah are both asleep right now, so theoretically I could go hide in my room for a while. Even so, what I really need to do now is my homework, so that is next on my agenda.

The other source of gloom this afternoon is that my mom left at lunch time. The boys were both sad to see her go, and I was too. It is always nice having my mom here, and I am blessed to be able to say that. We had a nice time with her here. When she left, Jamie kept waving out the window saying, "Bye bye! Bubba." Bubba is how he pronounced Grandma, and Grandpa too, for that matter.

Cody is playing with his GeoTrax in the living room. We finally moved them out of the baby room last night because we are finally going to set up the crib in there. Micah will still sleep in our room for a while yet. I don't think I'm quite ready to put him in his own room overnight. I would like him to be sleeping through the night first, like my other two did, but that may not happen with Micah. I don't know yet.

Normally I would already be having him sleep in his own room for naps during the day, just to get him used to his crib, but we had not set up the crib because we were waiting on a mattress cover from New Zealand, of all places. Sounds a bit odd, right? Well, during this pregnancy I learned about a theory about the cause of SIDS, and according to this theory (backed up by several years of research), SIDS is a result of chemicals that are inside crib mattresses, as well as cradle mattresses and other baby mattresses. (Bassinets...etc.) Here is a quote from them:

"Cot death (crib death) is caused by gaseous poisoning, the gases being phosphine, arsine and stibine (and/or derivative gases). These toxic gases are formed by the action of common household fungi (e.g. Scopulariopsis brevicaulis) on compounds of (respectively) the elements phosphorus, arsenic and antimony within the mattress."

Okay, that's a bit of a mouthful, isn't it? Those last elements listed are present within crib mattresses, believe it or not. Yes, even arsenic. It has to do with being fire resistant, I believe. So, this theory, which is apparently rejected by U.S. powers that be, makes a lot of sense. It states that these gases leak from the mattress and hover near the surface of the mattress which explains why babies are statistically more likely to die of SIDS if they are sleeping on their tummies. Their faces would then be very close to these gases and they would be breathing in a much higher quantity. Another factor in SIDS is that it tends to occur more frequently with a second or third child than with a first. This also makes sense because the more babies that use the same mattress, the more likely the mattress is to leak higher quantities of the toxic fumes. I also always wondered about this one, but they say that there is a higher instance of SIDS among poor families than middle class or rich families. This could also be explained by the possibility that they got their mattress second hand, or reused the same mattress many times over to save money. Also, SIDS is most likely to occur within the first year. After that, the child is bigger and less affected by these fumes. (Apparently we are also subjected to these in our own beds, but again, we are big enough that it does not affect us badly.)

So, that is a very brief explanation of what I learned, and I really felt that it is a logical and thorough explanation of SIDS. If you want to read a better account of it, in more detail, check out their website. It is They developed a mattress cover to wrap the mattresses in that prevents this from happening, and Mike and I decided to get one. I could not bring myself to let Micah sleep on a used crib mattress with everything I knew, even though I had one available in the basement. I figured it was cheaper to order the cover than to buy a new mattress, so that is what we did. It arrived yesterday in the mail, so last night we carefully wrapped the mattress and then put a 100% cotton towel on top of it, and then put a 100% cotton fitted crib sheet over all of it, as per the instructions. There is no absolute proof that their theory on SIDS is correct, but the statistics they show were enough to convince me. At the very least, this gives me much more peace of mind.

I look forward to having the baby room set up at last. Unfortunately, Mike has misplaced the hardware required to set up the crib, so right now all we have is a mattress. That, of course, does us no good. I'm hoping he'll find the stuff tonight. Meanwhile, maybe someone reading this will benefit from the information about SIDS.

For now, I have to go. My diaper laundry needs to run through the dryer again, and I might do another load of laundry in the wash. I can't believe the amount of laundry that I do these days! I need to do my homework too, but I missed my window. Micah is waking up and he is not terribly happy. Bummer. I'm off for now.


Pam Borchardt - Executive Director said...

While the theory of toxic gases is quite compelling. Dr. Sprout is the only scientist who is able to make that connection. No others have confirmed his research. Research by its definition must be replicated.

I don't have any problem with people buying the mattress cover that he sells, but are you then putting your baby at risk for dying in a fire because her bed is no longer fire retardent? What about the millions of families that bedshare. Is that why so many babies die in adult beds?

While Dr. Sprouts marketing campaign is excellent, his logic is a bit faulty. Buy the product if you want, but it may be false comfort. Better, find that hardware and place your baby on his back in a safe crib in your bedroom. Leave out all the bumpers, pillows, quilts and soft bedding. All the recommendations from the AAP are free except for a crib.

CAT said...

I have also taken all the other precautions. No bumpers in the crib, baby sleeps on his back...etc. I will also be using an angel care monitor, for extra peace of mind, I suppose. I wonder whether anyone else has attempted the same research that Dr. Sprout did. Interesting thought anyway.