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Newborn sleeping question
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Founded by peekawho on October 11, 2009
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Newborn sleeping question

I hope you all don't mind me asking here, but this is so important to me and I know I can count on those here to give good answers.  I am getting ready for the arrival of my first baby in January.  I worry about SIDS and have been doing a lot of reading on the subject.  Now, I know back sleeping is best and that's what we will be doing.  I also am going to use a baby bag, no blankets and I know to keep the nursery cool.  My question is, is it safe to put him down to sleep swaddled (in the bag)?  Also, I have been reading that a wedge under the top of his crib mattress can help keep the airway clear.  One last thing...I am so confused on the issue of positioners. When he's really little it doesn't seem necessary as he can't roll over yet, and when he can roll over my understanding is that his neck is strong enough that it's not  a worry.  So should I use a positioner at all, and if so, when?  Thanks so much.  I really wanted to ask this where I could count on solid answers, it's just so incredibly important to me.  
Cruz has been sleeping with a positioner and a swaddle sack since the day we brought him home. I too am a huge worrier about SIDS..... I still get up in the middle of the night to make sure he is breathing.

I know I am a "first time mom" but so far we have had great success with these two items.

Amanda you know you will make one heck of a Mom, your little man is so lucky to have you!!!!
If you are going to be swaddling him, then I wouldn't think it was necessary to put him in a sleep sack as well.  You don't want baby to get over heated.  I would probably dress him in a light weight sleeper and then swaddle him.  That is assuming he likes to be swaddled...my girls never liked to be swaddled much.  I wouldn't say that it is unsafe to put him in the sack and swaddle, I just would pay attention to how hot he gets like that.  

I don't know about the wedge under the mattress, but I have heard that the sleep positioner could be a suffication hazard.  I've always been told that once baby can roll over on their own, its ok if they end up on their tummy.  Just make sure that when you put him down, its on his back.  
When I used a swaddler, I would just dress DD in light pajamas and then the swaddler and she was always a good temperature.  Another thing that supposedly decreases SIDS risk is putting baby to sleep with a pacifier.  Of course, that's assuming you want to use one.  I know a lot of moms don't for breast feeding reasons and what not.....but since I didn't breast feed I never really gave it a second thjought....however now that DD is 14 months old and I have to get up in the middle of the night when her pacifier has gotten to some unreachable place for her to find, I wish i never started with it...lol
i'm glad you asked here. ask on the pregnancy or even the maternal and child forum and you'll get hoards of women giving "advice" that directly goes against thei own ped's suggestions and all other medical recoomendations. they'll even laugh about it. drives me insane since there are people who come here looking for legitimate medical advice. their babies sleep better, but they are putting their own needs ahead of their baby's safety. It's hard to argue statistics. they want their babies to be cozy- I place "alive" at the top of my list of priorities.

that rant aside...

i HIGHLY recommend you try the swaddleme (originally kiddopotamus, i think it was bought by summer). i thought dd hated being swaddled until i tried this. for $10, it's worth seeing if it helps your baby. my little one can't settle without it. And there's no risk of it coming undone and suffocating her. if you go to babies r us and look it up and read the reviews, you'll see i'm not the only one who thinks it works miracles :) if you use a swaddled, you won't need a sleep sack. my first used sleep sacks and did well in that. Is your baby going straight into the crib or will he be by you in a bassinet? having a newborn near you gives peace of mind. if he'll be in his own room, i recommend a video monitor so you can see if he's awake or just making noise in his sleep. my first was a noisy baby and this helped when we finally moved her to her own room at 8 months. At 2, she still talks in her sleep all night long.

your baby won't need a wedge unless he has reflux or is sick. it does make newborns slide down or veer off to the side in the night. we used a pacifier in the beginning but managed to get rid of it by 10 months. we replaced it with another comfort item- a burp cloth she fondly refers to as "raggie." I suggest a paci in the beginning, but after several months to slowly try to discourage it.

the only reason i used a positioner with my first is because she din't like to be swaddled, but needed to feel something around her torso. she didn't roll til 4 or 5 months, so it was never a concern for us. my ped said they are unnecessary.
Thank you so much ladies, this helped a lot.  And Tired, that is exactly why I asked here instead of some of the other forums.  I have read the debates that come up when questions like this are asked, and I wanted real information based on what is safest for him.  If I know I am doing everything humanly possible to keep him safe, that will give me far more peace then sleeping longer hours between feedings, etc.  I went into this eyes wide open, and know that lack of sleep comes with the territory, I am just fine with that.  I just find the people that post here to have their facts straight, not things like..."my mom put us on our tummies and we did just fine"...know what I mean?  And being that this is our first baby, I don't yet have a pedi.  This just seemed the best place to ask, and I thank you all for the great information.  There is a good chance I will have many questions as the clock ticks down to his arrival, so let me know if I am being annoying!!  
We use the swaddleme too. Thanks tired.....I could not think of the name. So, I just called it a swaddle sack. he he he It is awesome and it is so easy!!!!!

Safety first......then cozy comes later!!!
We swaddled and then moved to sleepsacks, and since the sleepsack was so warm we put our son in long-sleeved onesies and then into the sack.  Full pajamas under the sleepsack were too warm.

Don't use bumpers on the bed.  If you feel you have to have something to keep the baby from putting an arm through the slats, there are (essentially) tight, mesh-material bumpers that can be used.  (I didn't use anything.)  One other suggestion, especially if there is anything in the crib like a positioner or even a mesh bumper, is to have a small fan on in the room, positioned in such a way that the air in the crib moves slightly.  That will remove the risk of carbon-dioxide pooling.
Great post...  I just went onto e-bay and bought 3 swaddlemes.  I had not even heard of them when I had Quinn.  He will be snug as a bug in those. :)  And momma will not have to worry about him getting too cold since he is a winter baby.
We swaddled Anna in the first months and started using a sleeping bag around 5 months when she was too big for swaddling.  We did not use a sleep positioner but you can buy a  breathable sleep positioner to minimize the risk of SIDS.  Also, Anna hated her swaddleme so we used a large warm blanket from swaddle designs:
I think it will work great in Canada.
A humidifier is nice, especially if you have forced air heat.  Also, my ped said if you need a wedge, put something under the mattress instead.
Depending on the design of the swaddler and sack there is something you may need to be very careful about that hasnt been mentioned.  Heres my experience:

We brought Jazmine a swaddle/blanket system that was recommend by the hospital and nurses working there - it is not sold at common stores but was available at the hospitals womens center and also online (I cant remember the name though).   We used the sack and swaddle component and it worked very well for months.  Well, when it became a little warmer I decided not to use the sack and just use the swaddler which we wrapped very tightly around Jazmine.  She started crying in the night and when I checked on her she has wiggled in such a way that the swaddler was wrapped around her neck!  Thank goodness she was sleeping in her pack and play next to my bed at the time.

I never did use that system again but went back and looked at the instructions.  For this product it specifically said the swaddler must be used with blanket and there were also straps on the blanket itself that the swaddle inserted through.  Had I used those straps with the blanket, the swaddle would have been firmly in place and never could have moved the way it did without it.

Moral of the story? Be very careful that you read the instructions for any swaddle system that you buy.  Depending on the design, it may be necessary to use (fasten)  with blanket to prevent it from slipping if there isnt another mechanism to hold it in place.

Here is an except from the American Academy of Pediatrics the reiterates many of the points already made:

• Practice SIDS reduction in your program by
using the Caring for Our Children standards.
• Always place babies to sleep on their backs
during naps and at nighttime.
• Don’t cover the heads of babies with a blanket
or overbundle them in clothing and blankets.
• Avoid letting the baby get too hot. The infant
could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp
hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and/or rapid
breathing. Dress the baby lightly for sleep.
Set the room temperature in a range that is
comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
• Talk with families about the importance of
sleep positioning, and encourage them to
follow these guidelines at home.
Safe Sleep
• Place babies to sleep only in a safety-approved
crib with a firm mattress and a well-fitting
sheet. Don’t place babies to sleep on chairs,
sofas, waterbeds, or cushions. Adult beds are
NOT safe places for babies to sleep.
• Toys and other soft bedding, including fluffy
blankets, comforters, pillows, stuffed animals,
and wedges should not be placed in the crib
with the baby. These items can impair the
infant’s ability to breathe if they cover his face."
-its early......  When talking about "blanket" with the swaddle system what I actually meant was "sack"
Thanks so much for all the great advice and info.  I had bought a couple of swaddlers and went and checked....they are the swaddleme brand, so I feel good about that.  I really appreciate this ladies, thanks so much!
My son hated to be swaddled, we had great use with the halo sacks.  We used them all the way until he was 1 1/2 and then he was fine with just warm pj's and a blanket.  I loved, loved, loved the sack.  The positioner I bought for him looked good but was horrible.  It was hard and he started out too big for it.  So we just chucked it and he slept in his bassinet (co-sleeper) and was content in there and easily transitioned to his crib at 2 months old.  I did not use any blankets in the crib nor did I use the bumpers.  Although, they do have bumpers that are breathable for when your baby gets older and starts moving around and getting limbs caught.  I used a pacifier and we were also told having a fan in the room was a good way to prevent SIDS.  I think because of air circulation and the fact that the baby doesn't overheat.
ohhhhh-  that is the name! It was the Halo sack/swaddle system we had the problem with.  Just be sure to read the directions ;-)
I use the Baby Sense Monitor for Gavin and I just love it.  Gave me peace of mind when he slept; he still uses it.
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