Why the best thing accompanying baby in the cot is… nothing! –
Some UK retailers have stopped selling baby sleep positioners amid concerns over their safety. A US health regulator said they “can cause suffocation that can lead to death” and have been linked to 12 infant deaths in the US. The positioners, aimed at infants under six months, are intended to keep a baby in a specific position while sleeping. Mothercare and Tesco have stopped selling sleep positioners but they are still available from other retailers.Ebay has also reportedly removed the product from its website after the US authority’s recommendation.
Source: Baby sleep positioners dropped by shops after deaths warning – BBC News
Helpful new research in the battle against SIDS –
United States researchers have found a potentially lifesaving clue towards understanding sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The syndrome is the leading cause of post-neonatal infant mortality, and is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age. After decades of study, the underlying cause of death in those infants has remained a mystery. But Dr Robin Haynes, principal pathology associate at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University researcher, said a study she has co-published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could be an important step in solving the puzzle. “What we’ve found when we looked at SIDS deaths was a subset that had elevated levels of serotonin in the serum,” she said. “So this is the first indication that a problem with serotonin might be contributing to SIDS.
Source: SIDS research links serotonin levels of babies with possible cause of sudden death – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Even more good reason to spend some time with our furry friends! –
A recent study examined 800 babies and found infants exposed to a furry pet at just the right time in their development had some interesting health benefits. “We looked at the kinds of gut bacteria these babies have around three months of age,” Anita Kozyrskyj, a professor of pediatrics at the U of A, told the Calgary Eye.
“And we found exposure [to dogs] during pregnancy or postnatally was associated with some beneficial gut bacteria in these babies.” While most study participants were dog owners, Kozyrskyj said the benefits can come from cats as well. The animals carry a pair of healthy bacteria — ruminococcus and oscillospira — the result of running around, foraging and digging outside.
Source: Having pets helps babies later in life, according to University of Alberta research – Calgary – CBC News
We’re learning more and more about how babies are affected by the environment we create, even before they are born. More good reason to learn more about what we buy, eat, apply and use! –
Until a few decades ago, the popular but falsely reassuring belief was that babies in the womb were perfectly protected by the placenta and that children were just “little adults,” requiring no special protections from environmental threats. We now know that a host of chemicals, pollutants and viruses readily travel across the placenta from mother to fetus, pre-polluting or pre-infecting a baby even before birth.
Toxic chemicals like lead, certain air pollutants, pesticides, synthetic chemicals and infectious agents like Zika can derail the intricate molecular processes involved in a fetus’s healthy brain development. So can physical and social stress experienced by the mother.
Toxic exposures are shockingly prevalent. Analysis of biomonitoring data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds dozens of toxic chemicals, pollutants and metals in pregnant women, many of which are also found in cord blood of newborns. These include pesticides sprayed in inner-city buildings and on crops, flame retardants used in furniture, combustion-related air pollutants from fossil-fuel-burning power plants and vehicles, lead, mercury and plasticizers. All have been shown in epidemiologic studies in the United States and elsewhere to be capable of damaging developing brains, especially while babies are exposed in utero or in their early life.
Source: The Womb Is No Protection From Toxic Chemicals – The New York Times
Less worrying for parents! –
Both sleep techniques – graduated extinction and bedtime fading — decreased the time it took children to fall asleep and graduated extinction reduced night wakings, compared to the control group. All the salivary cortisol levels were within the normal range in all three groups, but the afternoon levels in the two sleep training groups declined over time more than the controls. And there was no difference among the groups, 12 months later, in the measures of the children’s emotional and behavioral well-being.
Source: Parents Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Training Babies to Sleep – The New York Times