Tummy Time

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For nigh on two months now, our youngest son has enjoyed sleeping in his crib, on his stomach.

GASP!

Reason: When he was colicky, not even the beloved Fisher Price Swing would calm him down, but sleeping on his tummy did. Hey, you put up with a screaming kid for two months and see what levels of unbelievable irresponsibility you’ll sink to. From my viewpoint, sleeping on his tummy is a minor transgression.

I know, I know, we’re terrible parents, what with the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and all. Let me stress here that he has been able to hold his head up by himself the whole time and we never cover him with a blanket any higher than to his waist. So there’s very little chance he’ll suffocate in any way, shape or form.

Yesterday, he started daycare and they made it very clear that they “could not/would not” put him on his stomach to sleep. My wife said, “OK, but he’s gonna cry.”

And he did. However, when my wife checked on him during her lunch break, he was on his tummy sound asleep. This morning though, we were told that they got in trouble yesterday (State Law: and who the hell tattled anyway?) and that if we wanted them to continue to put him on his tummy we’d need a Dr’s note.

Really? Is this the level of government intervention we’ve fallen to? What happened to letting the parent decide what is best for his or her child? No, I’m not niaive. I know that parents have been subjected to the whims of the state for years (vaccinations, spankings, etc) but telling me how my child can and cannot sleep is a little over the top.

But really, let’s look at the reasons for this Law. Here are some quotes regarding SIDS:

  • Exactly why SIDS occurs remains elusive.” Mayo Clinic
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation…” SidsCenter.org

So I think we can all agree that we don’t know for sure why SIDS occurs. However, to be fair, statistics also say that since the whole “Back To Sleep” campaign started, SIDS rates have declined by 38%.

But still, the “guesses” as to why SIDS occurs include everything from Electromagnetic fields, to pet dander, to vaccinations. In fact, studies show that vaccines are overwhelmingly the #1 choice for the cause of SIDS:

” A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that children diagnosed with asthma (a respiratory ailment not unlike SIDS) were five times more likely than not to have received pertussis vaccine.(1) Another study found that babies die at a rate eight times greater than normal within three days after getting a DPT shot.(2) The three primary doses of DPT are given at two months, four months, and six months. About 85 percent of SIDS cases occur at one through six months, with the peak incidence at age two to four months.” ThinkTwice.com

Bottom line: While I’m sensitive to the argument that sleeping on the tummy increases the chance of SIDS, I also subscribe to the theories that there is generally an underlying problem that causes SIDS and that sleeping on the tummy is not the cause.

Really, I’m more ticked about the government’s involvement. From seatbelts to my child’s sleeping patterns, they’re overstepping their bounds.

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