It is a parent’s worst fear: SIDS. It is the unexplainable passing of an infant usually occurring before they are one year of age. It normally occurs during the night when the baby is sleeping. Studies have been done and experts have not been able to figure out why this happens. There are a fair share of theories, and these theories have helped create a lot of advice for how to place a baby to sleep plus the introduction of a lot of products.
The fear is so great among parents, that they are not hesitant to purchase these items that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. Are they being fooled? The answer is; probably. Since SIDS is defined as passing with no obvious cause or explanation, it would be impossible to create a perfect product that would eliminate the risks. If there was, we would know the cause of SIDS.
There are, however, products that can help reduce many risks at night. These are products based on theories and studies done that show a safe sleep environment for babies. There are also products that can help mom and dad monitor their little one during the night to make sure their breathing pattern is not interrupted.
Then there are always duds, items that claim to help but actually do nothing. These items may even turn out to be dangerous. We have found 10 of the best ‘SIDS prevention’ products and 5 that were recalled and should not be used under any circumstances.
15 Sleep Sacks
While we don’t know the exact reason for SIDS, or what contributes to it, there have been things proven to reduce the risk. Since the ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign started, which entails always placing the baby on their back to sleep, the number of SIDS has reduced.
This must mean something, right? The numbers continued to drop once experts started advertising that babies should sleep in a crib with no pillows, blankets or other objects.
Parents everywhere were worried about their babies and children getting cold at night, but they also knew the risk of overheating and that was also not safe. Parents would end up giving their babies a blanket figuring it was better than overheating, they were wrong. Then, the sleep sack was introduced. Halo is probably the best-known manufacturer of the sleep sack and they have one of the most trusted products that parents will ever find. These items are wearable blankets. They are blankets that have a hole for the head and arms and there is no way an infant could get tangled up in this. It is important to remember that not all sleep sacks are created equal, as we will learn as we go on with this article.
14 Owlet Monitor
The world of breathing monitors is relatively new, they are a product that has just recently hit the market and parents are hooked to these items that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. The Owlet is probably the most recognizable of the breathing monitors on the market, and it is both popular and functional as it does work very well.
The monitor works through a small sock and your cell phone device. The sock is slipped on your little one’s feet and it connects to an app that you would download on your phone.
It tracks your baby's heart rate and breathing patterns to make sure that everything is going smoothly in the middle of the night. If something appears to be wrong, the app will alert mom and dad so that they can go and check on their little one.
These monitors are extremely attractive to moms who have experienced loss. If a person has experienced pregnancy or infant loss before, they can become very worried and paranoid when they have another little one. They are scared of losing another little baby, and this device may just give them the best peace of mind.
13 Cribs Are Sold Alone For A Reason
Sometimes, products are invented for one main purpose and they end up serving a completely different, more important one. Whoever invented the modern cribs that we know today may have also invented the absolute best SIDS prevention product on the market. Since SIDS often happens while a baby is sleeping, parents think really hard about the item their baby sleeps in. Most newborns will sleep in a bassinet or other safe item until they are a little older and a little bigger.
Then it comes time to switch to a crib, usually in their own room. A crib plays a big part on how safe your little one will be during the night. Think back to when you first got the crib. Was it empty? Did it only come with the crib and nothing else? Good, that is the way a crib should be. There should be no items in the crib at all, that is how it was invented and that is how it was meant to be slept in.
A lot or parents add bumper pads, out of fear that their little one will get caught between the railings. Have no fear, cribs are tested to make sure that they can not cause serious harm or worse to an infant.
The Snuza is another on of those health monitors that is probably very close in popularity to the Owlet. The main difference between the Snuza and the Owlet, is the Snuza is a small clip that is attached to the baby’s diaper. It is used to monitor your baby’s breathing and will send off certain alerts if it notices any changes. If it notices that there is no breath in 15 seconds, the machine will send off a small vibration sensation to try and get the little one to take a breath. If nothing happens after 5 more seconds an alert will go off to tell mom and dad that something is possibly wrong.
There is a downfall to these monitors, and while they cause no harm to the baby, it may worry mom and dad for no reason.
There is always a chance that these devices will become moved or jostled at some point through the night. This could cause them to send off an alert because it has become detached, so it is not sensing any heart rate or breathing. If mom or dad gets an alert in the middle of the night, it is bound to make them jump out of bed with anxiety already in their throat. Only to find out that everything is fine and that the monitor just fell off. It is always smart to be prepared for these moments.
11 Sensor Pad
This next one is still a sensor product, but it works a lot different than your average monitors. This is called the Babysense Hisense 5S Baby Safe Infant Movement Monitor. That seems like a mouthful and more like something you would find at NASA than in your baby’s nursery. This product is designed to detect the movement of your little one during the night by placing sensor pads underneath the mattress. This may work better for those babies who do not like sleeping with something attached to them.
The pads are placed between the baby’s crib mattress and bottom rack and an alarm will go off if it notices that the baby has not moved for a while, or the breathing pattern has stopped.
Since the item has no contact with the baby it is considered safe to use and poses no risk to the baby. It is one of the higher teched items on our list and it may put a dent in your bank account. It is also important to keep in mind that the alerts these units set off are not heard by the baby, it goes directly to the parents. So, in a case where there is a simple misreading, there is no risk of waking a sleeping baby.
10 Unintentional Invention: Fans!
Here we have arrived at another unintentional invention that may be helping in reducing the risk of SIDS. Fans are a great invention, both on a hot day and in the baby’s nursery.
There have been studies that show that having a fan in the baby’s room may help reduce the risk of SIDS in your little one. They claim that this is due to the circulating air.
When air is constantly being circulated, the chances of your little one getting better quality air is higher. They have less of a chance of breathing in too much carbon dioxide, or recycled air.
There is another benefit to fans that a lot of parent’s may not know about and it all comes down to helping the little one gets to sleep and stay asleep throughout the night. When babies are in the womb, they are used to a very noisy environment. When they are born, believe it or not, the world seems very quiet to them and they are not comfortable. A circulating fan can omit the right amount of ‘white noise’ to help the baby feel like they are still in the womb.
9 Smart Baby Monitor
We live in a world of SMART products. Smart phones, smart TV’s and many other things. Now, baby monitors are considered smart as well. Monbaby is available for $169 and it claims to be a smart baby monitor, so just how smart is it?
This is a baby monitor for both breathing and movement and it is FCC approved. It alerts parents to if their baby is sleeping on their stomach, if their breathing is fine, if they fail and other movements.
It appears to be a small button-like device that attaches to the baby’s clothing during the night. It sends alerts to one of the parent’s smart phones with any unusual activity. It may be a bit excessive because it does send you 5 alerts every 5 seconds. So, your phone will be blowing up which may be exactly what some parents are looking for. Most newborns can not roll onto their stomach at such a young age, but if they manage it, this will alert mom and dad that the baby has rolled so that they can go in and roll them back on to their back. This, of course, only applies to newborns as once older babies can roll they are finding to stay on their stomach.
8 The Mimo!
This is another item that is part of a baby’s clothing and it will alert the parents to any changes, which may be life changing.
The Mimo can identify any changes in your baby’s breathing pattern, their sleeping position, if they are too hot or too cold. It even has a function that works like a regular baby monitor, you will be able to hear your baby through the app you download on your phone.
You do not have to have the app open all the time as well, the app will alert you whenever and it won’t matter if the app is open and working.
The clothing, known as the Mimo Kimono, is available in three sizes and is completely machine washable and can be placed in the dryer. It can be worn under other clothes or will even work over three layers of cotton clothes. These breathing monitors are great for parent’s who have babies that have certain medical conditions. Particularly those that involve breathing difficulties. If your baby also must sleep on their stomach for reflux reasons it can help give mom and dad some peace of mind. Also, the fact that it connects to a smartphone makes things much easier for modern parents.
7 Firm Mattresses – As Simple As That
There is something else that everyone buys for their new baby that has been proven to reduce the risk of SIDS. When I say reduced, I mean that when it was introduced as another element to help support safe sleep, the numbers of infants dying from SIDS drastically decline and this can not all be a coincidence, right? Along with a fan, empty crib and sleep sack, another element you should have in the crib is a firm and flat mattress.
Most mattresses that are sold for infant cribs are firm, to kind of force parents to buy the proper one. The reason a firm mattress is the way to go is because it keeps the baby at the same level.
A soft mattress would sink in when the baby was laying in it. If the baby is sunken in and turns face down, there is a chance that they could have their breathing restricted.
This would not be good. We all like to save some money when it comes to welcoming a baby into the world, they sure are expensive. However, there are some things that are best bought brand new. Do not accept Grandma’s hand-me-down mattress that has seen its fair share of use and thus has become less firm.
6 Levana Is Well Trusted!
Some companies are trusted by parents more than others. We know these brands; our friends use these brands and we would only buy products made by certain brands. Levana is one of these brands, my own baby monitor is Levana and it holds up like a charm. Levana makes more than just your standard baby monitor, they also make monitors that can help reduce the risk of SIDS.
The product is called Levana Oma and it is powered by Snuza, another trusted brand. It is a battery powered monitor that attaches to the baby’s diaper and rests against the baby’s abdomen.
It tracks the baby’s breathing and movement. It is designed to alert you if it detects no movement.
When newborn babies sleep, they are not sound sleepers. They are constantly making noises and are wriggling little things. It would be concerning to anyone if a newborn went completely still when sleeping and would possible mean that there is a problem going on. It will also detect weak movements. If it notices too many weak movements in a row it will send an alert to try and give the baby a small ‘startle’ to rouse them out of sleep.
5 RECALLED: Pacifiers
We mentioned at the beginning that there are always some items that claim to be a great tool in the fight against SIDS, even when these products are not advertised as being a SIDS preventing product. Pacifiers have been linked to help reduce the risk of SIDS among infants. The studies have shown that when a baby uses a pacifier at night, it keeps them in a semi-alert state while they actively suck when sleeping.
The problem is, there was a huge recall on pacifiers that could happen to everyone, and the outcome can be the same as SIDS. MAM pacifiers had come under fire lately for being faulty.
They have been blamed for having the nipple part of the pacifier coming completely dislodged. This means that the nipple part is being swallowed and sticks inside the baby’s throat, choking them.
One mom was horrified when she heard her son gurgling in his sleep and when she went in, he had the end of his pacifier lodged in his throat. She exclaimed that it was the scariest and worst moment of her life. Her son, luckily, was fine after the incident. Her son is lucky to have such a vigilant mom who checked in on the baby when she did.
4 RECALLED: Baby Sleep Aids
We know how precious sleep is to new parents, and any product that claims to help improve sleep catches the eye of every tired mom and dad out there. It is even better when the same products have claims to help prevent SIDS. It seems like a win-win situation. Sleep aids are props that a mom can use in her baby’s crib that claim to hold them securely in a “safe” position while they sleep. These may help keep the baby on its side or help prop them up if they are suffering with some reflux issues.
These items are dangerous and were linked the passing of 12 infants in the US before they were pulled off of shelves. The young babies passed by suffocation as they were not sleeping the way they should be.
The only sleep rule mom needs to know is on their back, on a flat surface. This is the best sleeping position to help reduce the risk of SIDS.
Any other product that claims to help prevent SIDS is not to be trusted and could potentially be dangerous. It is best to not waste your money, and if your baby has reflux, talk to your doctor about what you can do to help your baby sleep at night.
3 RECALLED: Angelcare Monitors
Not all breathing monitors are safe or accurate. When looking at these breathing monitors, it is important to only use ones that are cordless. Certain Angelcare breathing monitors have been recalled because they were not safe for use, and their risks far outweighed their benefits in tracking the baby’s wellbeing at night. This monitor involved the use of a sensor pad that was placed under the mattress. This sensor pad had a cord that would plug into the wall, that is how it was powered.
They assumed this was safe, because it seemed logical that the baby would not be able to reach this cord and pull it into their crib, however we don’t give our babies enough credit. Babies are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for, and anything with a cord should be nowhere near where they sleep at night.
It is best to always look for a breathing monitor that does not use a cord.
The Owlet and Snuza are the best alternatives, as they have no cords attached to them at all. Angelcare had received notice of two infant fatalities involving their monitors and that is was sparked the immediate recall.
2 RECALLED: Some Sleep Sacks
Remember I stated earlier that not all sleep sacks were created equal, well now is the time I get to the details about his. Sleep sacks are great, and they really do help keep the baby warm while giving mom peace of mind that her baby is not going to pull it over his face while he sleeps, which would increase the risk of strangulation. Some sleep sacks have been recalled and are considered a worse danger than even SIDS.
The company that produce the sleep sacks in question is Perlimpinpin Inc, and they had two styles of sleep sacks recalled. They were both made out of bamboo material and featured a zipper.
The problem with these sleep sacks is that the zipper was defective. This means that the slider that one would find on the zipper was becoming detached and was then immediately made a choking hazard.
It also put the child at risk for being cut, or for pulling the now open sleep sack up and covering his face with it. Only one incident was reported, but there were no injuries sustained from this recall. It is always best to keep an eye out for any and all recalls in your country.
1 RECALLED: Even Mattresses Aren’t All Safe!
A firm mattress is always important when it comes to protecting our children while they sleep. It is probably the number one way to help reduce the risk of SIDS to your little one. However, even mattresses are not untouchable in the world of recalls. Everything that is man made has the ability to have a flaw, some flaws are more dangerous than others, and when it comes to our babies, everything is dangerous.
There was a recall on mattresses for both cribs and toddler beds due to the material being flammable. Not something you want when shopping for the surface your little one is sleeping on. Before making any purchases, it is always important to do your research and find the ones that have the highest safety standards and no recalls. Like we stated earlier, there is no one product that will 100% prevent SIDS, because as far as we know SIDS is unpreventable. These items may help, of they may just give mom and dad some peace of mind, both are OK and worth it. Be wary when trusting any product, as it is always best to go with your gut feeling and if you need to check on that baby all night, you do that, it is worth it.