The (Strict) New Safe-Sleeping Guidelines

If you have a baby younger than 1 year of age, chances are that he or she is sleeping in a way that goes against the latest recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). At the AAP’s national conference in Boston, which wraps up today, the Academy released their revised policy statement on safe sleeping and SIDS prevention.

Until babies are 1 year old, they should:

Be put to sleep on their back. Always, always, always. At some point, your baby will be able to roll from her back to her front and from her front to her back—and at that point, you can leave her in whatever position she ends up.

Sleep in the same room as—but not the same bed as—their parents. To keep a baby in your room until age 1 may seem… let’s say… difficult, but “these recommendations are most important in the first few months,” says pediatrician Rachel Moon, M.D, lead author of the new guidelines and chair of the AAP SIDS task force. Bedsharing is not recommended at any age, even if you’re using an actual cosleeping device that attaches to the side of your bed. “No bedsharing can be classified as safe,” says Dr. Moon, who adds that babies under 3 months are at a “very, very high risk” of suffocation.

Use a pacifier as often as possible. Pacifiers are associated with a decreased risk of SIDS, perhaps because it may position the tongue in a way that helps keep the airways open, Dr. Moon says. Pacifiers also tend to arouse babies as they sleep (I’ll say! Who else has experienced that sinking feeling every time their newborn’s pacifier popped out of her mouth and woke her up?!), and when babies are able to be easily woken, their risk of SIDS goes down.

Be breastfed. Lots of research backs up the positive connection between nursing and SIDS risk reduction.

Be fully immunized. There may be a protective effect here, too; evidence points to a 50 percent decrease in the risk of SIDS.

Not have anything in their cribs (or bassinets or Pack & Plays) except a tight-fitting sheet. No bumpers—not even the mesh kind. (Chicago now bans the sale of bumpers.) No stuffed animals. No pillows. No blankets. Nothing between the mattress and the sheet to make the surface softer. (“Soft does not equal safe,” says Dr. Moon. “Soft is bad.”) No elevating the head of the crib mattress by propping pillows underneath it, either, because babies can slide down to the bottom of the crib and end up in a position that obstructs their airway, or get wedged between the mattress and the side of the crib.

Not sleep in a car seat, stroller, swing, or sling for more than 60-90 minutes, and even then only under close supervision. Nothing but a crib, bassinet, or Pack & Play is recommended for extended periods of sleep. If your baby falls asleep in one of those other places, Dr. Moon recommends moving him as soon as is practical. Otherwise, they run the risk of sliding or slumping down and boosting the chance of suffocation.

Not sleep with the help of any products marketed as reducing the risk of SIDS. This goes for wedges, positioners, and home apnea monitors. “Parents believe that if a product is sold, it must be safe. They don’t always understand that these items don’t have to be tested or proven to work in order to be in stores,” says Dr. Moon.

She made an important point about why some parents don’t follow safe sleep recommendations. “Everybody thinks their baby is the exception to the rule,” she explains. “They’ll say ‘My baby has reflux.’ ‘My baby was premature.’ ‘My baby’s not a good sleeper.’” But she sees more than her share of infant deaths—at least one per month in her hometown of Washington, D.C. “We have to get the message out.”

 

 

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  1. by Motherof2

    On November 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    It’s GREAT that finally they are telling people to AVOID cosleeping with baby. It’s also unsanitary…specially if anybody is sick! There’s going to be lazy people out there complaining about this because they can’t teach their child to sleep in their own bed and prefer to share their bed with any excuse…It’s easier when you are tired and they don’t want to stay in their bed. I’ve been there…And that was bad that I allowed that! There are sleep specialists for children who teach them HOW to sleep in their own!!! (for those parents who don’t know it). The sooner you do that, the easier on the child.

    EVEN in my country and other cultures is suggested that everybody uses their own bed (for sanity and well rested nights). Parents NEED their own bed. Kids need to learn to respect parents space and become less insecure by learning that is OK to stay in their own bed all night. Because NOTHING should happend to them if they stay there all night…right?

    By keeping the child with YOU all night YOU are teaching them that there’s probably a good reason why they should NOT stay anywhere else…

  2. by Jay

    On November 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I don’t get it. Why are we hearing from pediatricians about SIDS. While it may seem obvious on the surface, when a baby passes from a SIDS event we don’t rush them to the pediatrician. I would like to hear from ER doctors and coroners. I would also like to see a study showing that all babies who use pacifiers don’t die of SIDS. I don’t think it exists. It’s all a bunch of guesses based on studies that provide no conclusive results. I don’t believe the AAP is a trusted source of recommendations for the prevention of SIDS, let’s hear from the ER. The answers will come from accurate and complete reporting from the ER and coroner reports.

  3. by Heather

    On November 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I agree with the poster above–I think that in some cases, the baby is going to pass no matter what. From what I’ve read, we still don’t know exactly what causes SIDS, so how can they say that if we do all these things 100% of the time, we are guaranteed to have less dead children? I put my baby on her back, and she sleeps in her own bed most of the time, but after she knocked her head against her crib slats one too many times, you bet your bottom that I put those bumpers in. If the kid can roll over to the side of the bed and cuddle up against the bumpers, they can also roll back over to breathe.

  4. by Erica

    On November 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Question, I am VERY against giving my child a pacifier…I feel like this is just a habit that will have to be broken and an unncecessary one at that. Am I being selfish, or Naive or both?? I mean I know this says that Pacifiers cut down on SIDS…but what about the many children out there that will not take a pacifier!

    HELP!!

  5. by Carole

    On November 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Honestly, I think that some of these recommendations are completely extreme. My son is now out of the danger zone, age-wise, but I would have never let him sleep in our room because babies and parents need their rest and solid sleep to be healthy and functional, and taking measures which will lead to exaustion of both cannot be good for anyone. Firstly I completely fail to understand how the physical presence of presumably asleep parents can prevent SIDS, which can happen anytime the baby is asleep. I realize that the use of breathing monitors doesn’t replace checking on the baby once he is asleep to make sure that there is nothing likely to interfere with his breathing, but I think that they still serve a purpose once the entire household is asleep (unless you are planning to take turns standing guards by the baby’s crib all night until he is one). In my experience, they are extremely sensitive, and ours never failed to ring very loudly if we forgot to turn it off after our baby was up. Secondly, the fact that the baby wakes up every time the binkie falls off cannot be healthy for a baby who needs a lot of uniterrupted sleep, and of course, it can’t be good for parents either. Other recommendations make sense, although I think that there is a real risk of other injuries without at least breathable bumpers, like arms and legs getting caught in the wrong position. Clearly, everyone wants to do their best to protect their baby from any kind of harm, but it is not possible to remove all risks, and one has to think about what else you are hurting by going beyond what can be acceptable for an entire household for several months at a time.

  6. by irene

    On November 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    My fist born we sleeped him in a swnger all night . He slept in our room I dnt like t leavemy children al9one at a young age because they do spit up andwhat not luckily I’m a light sleeper and wake up for just about any noise my baby makes. My 2nd child also sleeps in the same swinger all night . But we do put the 2nd bay in the crip to sleep thrugh out the day.

  7. by Cici

    On November 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I can say as a mother who has actually lost a baby due to SIDS I agree with most of these guidelines. But I will never again use pack and plays because my son passed away in one. He was only 4 months, but he rolled over on his own and was beginning to crawl. He was a strong baby. No one knows why he didnt roll back over. I also don’t understand the reasoning behind not letting a child sleep in a swing since my oldest son slept in one the first 6 months of his life because of a crib recall. My first son loved his pacifier, but my second son wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Some kids just won’t take a pacifier no matter how hard you try. So I guess I can understand the new pacifier guideline. I breastfed my first son for the recommended 6 weeks and my second son for only 2 because my husband was deployed and I had no help. I see how people can theorize, but until you’ve been there you just don’t know and thank God you don’t. I pray none of you ever will. I’m now pregnant with my third and I do plan on doing things differently. I’d say in my opinion these are good guidelines, but sometimes there’s just nothing you can do. Use your best judgment as parents. We always get so much information on how to keep our children safe and it always changes, so it can get confusing. God Bless

  8. by Kathy

    On November 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    My brother and I both slept with our parents and NEVER had pacifiers. He’s 41 and I’m 46. Guess we turned out ok.

  9. by Ashley

    On November 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Has anyone else’s mom said “It’s a miracle you survived”. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be careful and make every effort we can to keep our children safe. But these restrictions make parents so freaked out they’re gonna kill their baby if they don’t put them in the perfect sleep position. So, if we’re all putting babies on their backs, taking the bumpers out, yada yada, why are so many babies still dying? How about the fact that SIDs is unexplained. Parents have enough worry and guilt as this list of don’ts keeps growing. Before you know it, the only “safe” way for our babies to sleep will be in a bubble.

  10. by Elise

    On November 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I like how these guidelines conveniently leave out the most common risk factor of SIDS, which is FORMULA FEEDING. Not only is it disgusting and expensive, but also DEADLY. If I lost a child to SIDS because I was too lazy to breastfeed I would never forgive myself. Also, The AAP recommends breastfeeding for 1 year, NOT 6 weeks. I have NO IDEA where you got that. The WHO recommends TWO YEARS.

  11. by Rachel Romano

    On November 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Why do “guidelines” always seem condescending and more like threats than suggestions? Do the “experts” think that we, as parents, are complete morons? I co slept with all 3 of my children and they are fine. I let them sleep in swings–my one would even sleep in his jumperoo, and if I took him out he would wake up and want to go back in! So I guess that I am a bad parent. Oh well.

  12. by Katie

    On November 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Um…quick question. How do you keep a kid on their back until they are one? They turn over at 6 months. And you would wake a one year old up if they were still in your room that long. Not to mention that isn’t very good for marital relations. If you are that worried after 4 months or so about SIDS have a video baby monitor and turn the volume way up. I understand about breast feeding being important but it bothers me when people say I must or SIDS will kill my baby. I can’t b/c of my health. So don’t tell me that SIDS is yet another issue he could have. I am not a bad mom b/c I need to take medicine.

  13. by Rachel Romano

    On November 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Ashley–right on about the bubble! And in a few years they’ll come out with guidelines that completely contradict these!

  14. by Grace

    On November 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Wow Elise- someone is very judgmental. Some people *can’t* breastfeed even though they try very hard. Luckily I have been able to bf all 4 of my kids but having said that, my best friend has tried very hard and unsuccessfully with both of her kids. What do you expect her to do? Find a wet nurse or pay a minimum of $1.25/oz for someone else to provide breast milk? Personally I couldn’t afford that. It’s not your place to make comments like that about being “too selfish to breastfeed” and some doctors do recommend 6 weeks as a minimum. Mine did- both my OB/GYN and our pediatrician. I honestly am embarrassed for you that you made that kind of comment, especially to a mom who *LOST A BABY TO SIDS*! Go ahead and have your opinion but have a little tact when expressing it.

  15. by Beth

    On November 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Elise, Wow, can you be any more condescending? I’m sure Cici will gladly follow you advice now! It was delivered so well and in such an unbiased manner. As a mom of two who followed most of the guidelines listed above, including nursing until 12 months, I am ashamed at mothers who are so unkind and judgmental. She does need information and encouragement. She does not need cruel words. We all have our own issues to deal with, there is a host of things that contribute to SIDS and we just need to do our very best to keep our children safe. There is also a host of things that can lead to a mother not breastfeeding. In my experience, laziness is not high on the list of reasons in most cases. We, as mothers, need to be encouraging and supportive to other moms. Im sure you do what you believe is best for your children and that you love them very much. I support you in your choices and only hope that I, and other mothers, can receive the same courtesy from you in the future.

  16. by Laurie

    On November 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Whoa … there are lots of reasons people cannot breastfeed besides being LAZY!!! And just because someone CANNOT breast feed their children 1-2yrs does not make them a HORRIBLE or LAZY mother. It’s unfortunate but it happens to even wonderfully well intentioned mothers.

  17. by Kelly

    On November 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    To ELise, who thinks that formula feeding is for “lazy moms”…you really have some nerve! Who are you to judge those mothers (including myself) that are not ABLE to breastfeed? Due to latching problems, the only way for my son to get breatmilk was for me to pump exclusively. After having mastitis 5 times, 2 bacterial infections, countless ounces of bloody breastmilk that had to be tossed out and endless tears, I put him on formula at 9 weeks old. I was neither a “lazy” nor a “bad” mother for doing so!

  18. by Kristin

    On November 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I’m reading through all the comments and there’s things that I agree with and things I don’t about what people are saying. Normally I don’t comment but Rachel Romano’s comment really got me irked. Yes breastfeeding is best and I agree with that but I had a difficult time with breastfeeding. I have 3 children and breastfed them all for different periods of times. I did what I could. Some women have a very difficult time and it doesn’t come as ‘naturally’ as it does for some women. I envy women when it’s so easy for them. To call someone lazy for not breastfeeding is very ignorant and incosiderate.

  19. by Heather

    On November 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you Grace!!! You said what I was thinking!

  20. by Lara

    On November 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Elise-What’s up with the judgmental attitude? Being a mom is hard work-imagine how much better it would be if we would all support each other rather than trying to tear each other down? Your comment is extremely hurtful and inappropriate. As someone who had extreme difficulties with breastfeeding, I can tell you that my decision to supplement with formula was excruciating. Also, considering I worked my tail off to get any little bit of breast milk that I could for my babies, I would never use the word “lazy” to describe my situation. You try nursing and pumping and going to lactation consultants and taking supplements around the clock while battling the guilt brought on by comments just like the one you made, and then call me “lazy” to my face. Believe it or not, babies die for a variety of reasons, and formula is not deadly. Both of my children are thriving despite the fact that I had to supplement with formula. I am so happy for you that you are apparently an expert mother who has never had to encounter any difficulties while raising her children. But, how about showing a little compassion for all those who have struggled with breast feeding and ESPECIALLY for those who have lost their precious children?

  21. by Chrissy

    On November 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I have three children and fortunately they all liked sleeping on their backs. Only two of them took pacifiers, all were breastfed and once they got a little older, I would allow one small toy in the bed with them. I’ve always used bumpers to protect their heads. I know that everyone does not have the same spiritual beliefs but the way I look at it is, if it’s the baby’s time to be with God, then God will take the baby. You should follow these guidelines but not to the point were it makes you crazy worrying about your baby. It’s really in God’s hands. When I would worry about my newborns especially, I would just pray for them.

  22. by Kaylee

    On November 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    The problem with definitive facts is that researchers can’t set up an experiment with a control group where they test the results. All they can do is look at the facts and if there seems to be a strong correlation (relationship) between children who had passed from SIDS and the lack of a pacifier or anything else. All they are doing is getting to word out there that we could do something that may decrease the risk. They never gaurenteed success. Pediatricians are trained in the most detailed working of a child’s body, pediatricians are the best people possible to study this. To condemn the AAP for putting this information out there, with comments like “the will do anything to get us to vaccinate” and ” why are pediatricians studying this” is insane. Sure the information changes every decade or so and we are all alive but what about the children who didn’t survive? Even if they save a few children, they have done the right thing by informing us of the best possible answer to preventing an unimaginable tragedy.

  23. by Elise

    On November 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I find it very interesting that so many people in the US and Canada have such terrible difficulties breastfeeding. I firmly believe that this is due to the overmedicalization of labor and birth and unrealistic expectations of infants by both parents and healthcare workers. Maybe if we DIDN’T give pacis,and co-slept, and spent 24 hrs a day with all our babies for the first few weeks than things would be different. But now, that will get me called unreasonable.

    As for my comments being horrible and embarrassing, what do you think of the mom who losta child to SIDS but admits to stopping breastfeeding at two weeks because she had “no help”. Well, I’m 7 months in, my husband works 14 hours a day five days a week and I have no support structure whatsoever. I’m not saying BFing is easy peasy, but it is way better than any of the alternatives.

  24. by Amy

    On November 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    To Ms. Elise, I think your comment is extremely ingorant and hurtful. Like others have stated in their comments, being lazy is usually not why a mother chooses not to breastfeed. I think every mother has to do what works best for her and her child whether it’s breastfeeding, formula, or a combination of both. I think as a parent it is important to remember that it truly is in God’s hands when it comes to a child passing of SIDS. However, it’s still important to utilize guidelines set forth and use common sense. Things change from decade to decade when it comes to health information but that’s because studies are done and better ways are brought about. Just because it was the “best” option 20yrs ago doesn’t always mean that it’s the “best” option now. I utilize a lot of advice from my mother and mother-in-law but i also do my own research when it comes to taking care of my son.

  25. by Carole

    On November 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Regarding breast versus bottle feeding, I think that every mother should do what they feel is right for their baby, themself, and their family. I had my child through a surrogacy, so breastfeeding wasn’t an option. But I wouldn’t have picked it anyway because I loved knowing exactly how much my baby was eating (and with breastfeeding, you can only know if you pump exclusively), and the exact nutritional value of it. Formula is not perfect, but unless you have outstanding nutrition, which includes a lot of fish for DHA, breast milk may not be perfect either. I also wanted my baby on food that would keep him full longer because I had to go back to work after 3 weeks and feeding him every 2 hours wasn’t going to be practical for long, esp. not at night. He is now almost 2 and thankfully extremely healthy, much healthier than several babies I know who got breastfed for months, and he has no allergies. I think it is important to understand that the factors leading to health or disease are very complex and that few are black and white, and many are genetic, so beyond our control. It also depends where you live: Babies in developping countries need all the passive antibodies they can get. In humans, 99% of these are passed during pregnancy, not through breast milk, but if you live on a dirt floor, that 1% can make a huge difference. In the U.S., I think that the case is not as strong, including regarding SIDS, and formula works great for many, many babies. So if you enjoy breastfeeding, do it, but if you don’t and did it anyway, that was your choice to suffer, just don’t hate everyone else.

  26. by alyssa

    On November 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I think they are helpful guidelines. If what they are suggesting didn’t work for you then kuddos. I followed most of the guidelines even though I believe a majority of deaths due to SIDS could not have been prevented. I never had my baby even for one day sleep in my room. I didn’t spend weeks decorating her room for her to sleep in mine. :) I was however against pacifers until I read about the benefits and decided to use one and my daughter loves her. The key is being well informed so you can make the best decisions for YOUR child.

    And I breastfed because I am lazy and was sad when I couldn’t do it anymore due to drying up and going back to work. Preparing and cleaning bottles is time consuming, not for the lazy parent.

    It makes me sad to think their are moms out there who think they were responsible for their childs death and could have prevented it. You can’t explain SIDS anymore than you can explain a sudden miscarriage or why Dancing with the Stars is still on the air.

  27. by Angela

    On November 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Cosleeping is NOT absolutely, always dangerous. It certainly can be, don’t get me wrong. However, crib sleeping can be dangerous under certain circumstances as well–but do we ban cribs? No, we research and share methods of crib sleeping that are safer. There are guidelines for safe cosleeping. There are also many benefits to cosleeping. It’s not for everyone, but it may help you, your baby and the rest of your family get a better night’s rest. See the links below for SAFE cosleeping guidelines:
    http://www.askdrsears.com/news/latest-news/dr-sears-addresses-recent-co-sleeping-concerns
    http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/scientific-benefits-co-sleeping
    http://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/

  28. by Venus

    On November 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    It makes me sad to hear lots of mothers who claim they were incapable of breast feeding their babies. I hear this all the time. This is rarely the case in fact. Most women can breast feed. The problem is the way we birth our babies and misinformation. I blame the health care system. They have no clue about breastfeeding.

  29. by Carole2

    On November 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Regarding breast versus bottle feeding, I think that every mother should do what they feel is right for their baby, themself, and their family. I had my child through a surrogacy, so breastfeeding wasn’t an option. But I wouldn’t have picked it anyway because I loved knowing exactly how much my baby was eating (and with breastfeeding, you can only know if you pump exclusively), and the exact nutritional value of it. Formula is not perfect, but unless you have outstanding nutrition, which includes a lot of fish for DHA, breast milk may not be perfect either. I also wanted my baby on food that would keep him full longer because I had to go back to work after 3 weeks and feeding him every 2 hours wasn’t going to be practical for long, esp. not at night. He is now almost 2 and thankfully extremely healthy, much healthier than several babies I know who got breastfed for months, and he has no allergies. I think it is important to understand that the factors leading to health or disease are very complex and that few are black and white, and many are genetic, so beyond our control. It also depends where you live: Babies in developping countries need all the passive antibodies they can get. In humans, 99% of these are passed during pregnancy, not through breast milk, but if you live on a dirt floor, that 1% can make a huge difference. In the U.S., I think that the case is not as strong, including regarding SIDS, and formula works great for many, many babies. So if you enjoy breastfeeding, do it, but if you don’t and did it anyway, that was your choice to suffer, just don’t hate everyone else.

  30. by Cris

    On November 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    to whoever said if it is the baby’s time to be with God, thank you, while this is heartbreaking (and yes I know about this a lot) we can only do out best to prevent our children from being hurt.

    I have read people who followed all the recommendations and they still lost their precious baby to SIDS – it is heartbreaking.

    What i don’t understand is, it is fine to say don’t do this, don’t do that, but isn’t getting sleep better than not, baby’s and parents need to sleep.

    my son, who is now 3 1/2 years old, was a tummy sleeper from 5 weeks old, why – because he got a sore in his umbilical cord and the pressure of laying flat on his back would pull at it and hurt – I tried side and finally gave up and put him on his tummy – he slept that way and still does.

    I also have done first aid since I was 15 years of age, now we are being told to sleep our babies on their backs, but in ALL first aid training, you put an unconscious person on their side so if they are sick, it can run out of their mouths, yet a baby who often can spit or vomit back up, is ok to sleep on their back – this goes against all logic that I have been taught.

    He also had reflex – I was told to try the positioners and yes, he ended up down the end of the bed and everything I tried to stop didn’t work, but it was something I was told to do.

    I think each baby has sleep habits / patterns just like we do as adutls.

  31. by Elise

    On November 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Carole2: You would have intentionally formula fed your child so you KNEW HOW MUCH THEY WERE EATING, despite the fact that you know formula is not perfect? In addition, there is no discernible quality difference in breast milk except in cases of extreme starvation of the mother. However, this is why women are advised to continue taking vitamins in case of some slight detriment. These comments just shows how very ignorant you about breastfeeding. Also, where are your sourced for 99% of antibodies being passed from mother to child before birth?

    For the record, I love breastfeeding.

  32. by Therese

    On November 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I want to punch Elise in the head . I have a healthy 8 month baby boy who decided to join the world 8 weeks early. He spent 3 weeks in hospital after a very scary arrival. I spent those 3 weeks desperately pumping every 2 hours to try and get my milk in to no avail. Let me tell you washing, steralizing and making bottles at midnight before you get up to go to work every day is no job for a lazy mother. Of course Elise now I’m probably a terrible mother for having to work outside the home .

  33. by Hannah

    On November 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Elise, get off your high horse! I too, was a big breastfeeding advocate, and had everything all set up for when my baby came. I had a regular, vaginal birth when I was 4 days overdue. I was able to immediately breastfeed her, and other than her being a little rough with my nipples (they cracked, bled, and peeled in the shower even with creams, but I dealt with the pain) I was fine. For 3 months. My supply started to dry up. I had a very healthy diet, was still on prenatals, and even with natural supplements like Fenugreek, I still lost my milk. By 3 1/2 months, my let-down took too long, so my daughter would scream in hunger and wouldn’t latch because she didn’t expect milk. Power pumping didn’t work. Prescriptions didn’t work. I finally gave in and gave her formula, and I don’t feel guilty at all. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and we shouldn’t be told that we are bad mothers for it.

    Venus, blaming the health care system? Without them, I would have given up well before my daughter was 3 1/2 months! They did everything they could for me- prescriptions, letting me see a breastfeeding guide whenever I wanted, offering hospital-grade pumps, even prescribing me prenatals when they didn’t have to. You must have really bad doctors or something!

  34. by alyssa

    On November 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Elise, you need to slow your roll girl. What works or didn’t work for you doesn’t apply to all.

    Hannah, question for you, did take any birth control pills while breastfeeding? I took the ones that you supposedly can feed while on them but I think they might have been the culprit for me drying up because I was a milking machine before I got on those stupid pills and didn’t put two and two together until it was too late. I have some girlfriends who had the same issues and at about 3 months we all started to dry up. Next baby I’m laying off the pills to see if I can feed longer.

  35. by melanie

    On November 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    how exactly does vaccinating prevent SIDS? vaccinations can cause SIDS – its crazy to suggest that vaccinations prevent SIDS!

  36. by Lori

    On November 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Well, co-sleeping is part of attachment parenting. My children survived it. There are definitely some things you need to watch out for when doing it. It really helped with breastfeeding. Pacifiers can actually interfere with latching and cause early cessation of breastfeeding, so the recommendation of the constant pacifier is perplexing. Chicago has outlawed bumpers? Can’t say I’m surprised but that’s ridiculous.

    Kudos to all of the moms who do their best to breastfeed their children. La Leche League is a great resource for those having problems; and it’s FREE. The first rule of breastfeeding is “feed the baby”, so if you need formula then you need formula. No need to disparage anyone.

  37. by Donna

    On November 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I agree to some of these guidelines but Dr. Sears coslept with his baby and reccomends it. Apparently when baby is next to mom sleep is better regulated. Rarely will a baby suffocate in a bed with parents because va drug free and alcohol free parent would not sleep through a baby struggling to get air. And on the breastfeeding issue….I fed exclusively for 2 months and now combo feed my 7 month old because I did not produce enough to give her weight gain. There was no laziness. In fact I cried and beat myself up over it.

  38. by Angela Morgan

    On November 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Bedsharing is NOT absolutely, always dangerous. There are guidelines for safe bedsharing. Following these guidelines can actually create a safer sleep environment than solitary crib sleeping. It’s not for everyone, but it may help you, your baby and your family get a better night’s rest. See the links below for SAFE bedsharing guidelines:
    http://www.askdrsears.com/news/latest-news/dr-sears-addresses-recent-co-sleeping-concerns
    http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/scientific-benefits-co-sleeping
    http://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/

  39. by Carolynn

    On November 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Wow, Elise. Thank you for reminding me why I usually stay away from reading these articles and forums. I once read comments to a woman who wanted suggestions on what size/brand diaper to put her baby (who was between sizes) in. This led to her being bashed for not using cloth diapers. I see the same thing happening here.
    I did breastfeed until I went back to work and could no longer keep up with it and wasn’t producing enough to keep it up. I decided that keeping a roof over our heads was a priority over making sure he didn’t eat the formula poison, as it is implied. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume (based on comments you have made) that you’re of the mindset that women shouldn’t have children unless they can stay home with them full-time. Wow, what a wonderful world that would be. I have this week off for Thanksgiving and had a fantastic time with my son today. I wish I could do that everyday, but it’s not reality.
    What bothers me most about the comments made, were how cold you were to that mother who did lose a child to SIDS. I urge you to take some time to read http://facesofloss.com/ perhaps it will warm you up to the families who have been forced to deal with this horrific thing (and yes, believe it or not, women who exclusively breadfed have gone through this too. Many of the women on this website did not even get that chance).

  40. by whitney

    On November 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Elise women like you are why moms give up breastfeeding. You try to sound like you are perfect and better than everyone else. Mothers have to do what they think is best or what their baby will accept. Women who don’t breastfeed aren’t bad moms. Stop it with the holier than thou attitude.

  41. by Ashley

    On November 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Idk … This is kinda extreme in my opinion every person has natural parenting skills and should stand by them and do whatever they feel not by all these weird “guidelines”.
    Some of these things r pretty obvious …

  42. by Laura Thompkins

    On November 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I wish there was less critical advice about co-sleeping from the AAP. Co-sleeping is much more common in most other countries, several of which do not have ANY reported cases of SIDS (many other sad diseases, yes, but no SIDS). When done properly, co-sleeping is extremely beneficial, and potentially life saving. Newborns don’t always have the breathing thing down pat. But, when sleeping next to mom and listening to her rhythmic breathing all night, it’s natural to follow along with her – this could be lifesaving. You need tight fitting sheets, no pillows or blankest anywhere near baby which could pose a sufficatoin risk. A newborn or young infant should sleep next to mom. When sleeping, mom will not roll over onto baby – as you are still aware of yourself spacially even when you sleep. Think about it – you don’t roll off the bed do you? Also, NEVER can a baby sleep with someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drungs or any sleep aid. And, most importantly, everyone in the bed should feel comfortable with this decision, and if not it’s not the right choice. When done safely, co-sleeping is perfectly safe.

  43. by Gina

    On November 21, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    WOW Elise, I found your response very rude. Calling someone lazy because they feed their baby formula? Not everyone has a choice. There are some mommies who no matter how hard they try or how badly they want to breast feed their baby, they are unable to. Actually, to me it was easier to breast feed a baby that fed a baby formula. With formula you have to get out of bed, mix up the formula and feed it to a baby. With breast feeding, all you have to do is whip out the old boob and hook baby on. Karma is not very nice nor is she very forgiving. It’s gonna get you someday.

  44. by Cici

    On November 21, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Alright Elise we’ve heard quite enough from you. Until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes you can keep your uneducated comments to yourself. I don’t recall you being there. I must say your comment did sting, as I’m sure was intended, but seeing the response from other mothers out there around me has given me strength. I don’t feel like I need to fully explain anything to you because it wouldn’t do anything but give you an out for the obvious anger issues you have. Some people just need to TRY to bring others down to make themselves feel better. Well I can tell you that you have not succeeded. I know what I am and I know who I am, so who are you? I’m a truly excellent mother who is perfectly imperfect. Just remember that the tounge is a double edged sword. I pray you never have to go through this so that you may remain ignorant all the days of your life.

  45. by Cici

    On November 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Oh and one more thing. I don’t recall you saying that your husband was fighting our enemies in Afghanistan, but working 14 hours a day and still making it home to see his woman. I commend him for working so hard to provide for his family and my husband for his country so that you can write things like this.

  46. by Megan

    On November 22, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Elise, your husband probably works 14 hours a day so he can stay away from your crazy a**. I formula feed my baby and don’t regret it. I chose this method fora variety of reasons non of which I care to share with you and not because I’m lazy. I live in Chicago and I find the outlaw of the sale of bumpers to be crazy. I think the government needs to stay out of homes and personal life. I do not need a set of guidelines to tell me how to raise my child. I’m happy to review their findings but I will always chose what is best for my baby, myself and the rest of my family.

  47. by Meg

    On November 22, 2011 at 8:02 am

    In reading this article one thing popped out at me…bad editing…it should be Rouse baby at night NOT AROUSE. That use of wording is horribly wrong.

  48. by Denise

    On November 22, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I will continue to use a sling, cosleep etc. I do Bf but my other kids weren’t and guess what? They’re fine in fact my oldest DD who is just 16 is already taking classes at Va Tech. So please do NOT call formula feeding mamas LAZY. I would have BFed the last four but I was unable to.

  49. by Misha

    On November 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

    http://www.littleheartsbooks.com/2011/08/09/co-sleeping-safelyis-it-possible-decide-for-yourself/

    Read some good info on bed sharing. When done safely, it’s better for you baby to be next to you at night.

  50. by Stef

    On November 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Elise,
    I rarely write on these boards, but HOW DARE YOU. I breastfed my daughter for six weeks until I found out that I had an illness and couldn’t anymore because I had to get treatment. Do you think I feel good about the fact that I can’t breastfeed? Am I lazy for deciding to do what is in the best interest of myself, my daughter and my family? Formula feeding is a hell of a lot better than it was 50 years ago, and at the end of the day my daughter is getting nutrition. Is it perfect? No. But my little girl is healthy and happy and that is all that matters. The day you can fix every set of tits in the world to make them work you can open your mouth. Until then, back off. Why don’t you spend some time getting educated on reasons why people may not be able to breastfeed rather than spew bullshit. If you spent half as much time educating yourself as you did bashing others, your life would be much better off. How about educating yourself rather than spewing crap that you know nothing about.
    Oh, and congrats on your well operating tits. Believe me, many of us wish we had that priveledge.

    And to all of you who lost children to SIDS, I pray you find peace through your suffering. I cannot imagine the pain you go through daily and I know that your children are smiling down on you daily.

  51. by Carole

    On November 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Since requested so nicely by Elise, below are some links that talk about how passive immunity is transferred in different species. It depends on the placenta type. In humans, most IgGs are transferred in utero (before birth) and breast milk provides others, like IgA (mucosal antibodies) that human babies can make themselves, which is why they are ok with formula. I am not saying that breast milk doesn’t have benefits, some of which are also nutritional, I am just explaining why healthy human babies can do just fine without it, but that other species cannot survive without ingestion of collostrum (first milk. Example horses and cattle). FYI, I study comparative medicine for a living.

    http://classes.ansci.illinois.edu/ansc438/Motherneonate/immunoglobulintransport.html
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bdrb.20201/pdf

  52. by Lara

    On November 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    In response to Elise (and a few others) implying that people who have trouble breast feeding are either lazy or lying/misled by our culture: This is not a new phenomenon! If you took a few minutes to get down off of your high horses and educate yourself, you would learn two things. 1)Wet nurses have been around in many cultures around the world for almost as long as time began. The reason? Some women had trouble breast feeding. 2) Infant mortality has always been an issue, more so in the past without advances like formula, etc. Why? Some women had trouble breast feeding. Do you see a theme here? This is not new. This is not just because women are making “bad” choices in their birthing, careers, etc, as you imply. Some women just do not produce enough milk to exclusively breast feed. In some cultures, this means women who have excess milk share, or it sadly also means some babies who don’t have access to formula or wet nurses die of malnutrition. Some mothers also get illnesses that prevent them from breast feeding. My husband is Palestinian and this happened to his grandmother-in Palestine, many years ago. She had to have a wet nurse feed her baby. This is also the reason why some cultures start solids/animal milk so much earlier than we usually do here-it’s out of necessity. It is absolutely not the case that “anyone can breast feed if they really want to.” There is much more to it than that-and this goes for women around the world, for generations. Get informed before you open your ignorant mouth.

  53. by Cari

    On November 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I just going to say what you all WANT to say to Elise.

    You’re a freaking BITCH for the comment you made. Have some damn tact. That woman lost a child. So you should rot in the deepest pits of hell for that. And you probably will!

  54. by angela

    On November 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    in regards to elises comment i think you comment was rather rude and insensitive! did you happen to consider us moms who want to beast feed but cant? and then infer that our babies are disgusting? very rude!

  55. by Angela

    On November 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    and to add to my comment I didnt have a choice my daughter has a cleft palate and cannot create the suction to latch and feed….to pump and feed I could not get ahead of her and was not producing enough. as much as I wanted to breast feed it was just not practical anymore! i wasnt bonding with my daughter i was hooked to a machine most of the time. so if you think that makes me a bad mom then so be it but my daughters happiness matters more than if her food comes out of a boob or a bottle!

  56. by ellie

    On November 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    The info the AAP, CDC, etc use for their recommendations is severly skewed. It would help if coroners and physicians would document cause of death accurately. Their too busy tying to pacify parents and act with ‘business’ sense. I’ve seen MANY cases of ‘SIDS’ that were definately NOT “unknown”, or without probable cause. Neglect… baby with history of heartrate dropping, should be on a monitor that was provided and parents don’t use it. Lots of other improper sleep areas… I have no problem with co-sleeping, but when you’re drunk,or on meds that sedate you.. not a good idea, don’t lay a baby face down in a fluffy comforter… I could go on for days….heard it all first hand…. written as SIDS….SIDS is way overused… and used as a scare tactic with the agencies. These req’s are crazy! Parents need to use common sense!

  57. by Joan

    On November 23, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Oh for goodness sakes, lay off of Elise…Here are a few FACTS (not opinions, facts)

    1. Feeding your baby formula SIGNIFICANTLY increases his or her risk of dying from SIDS….

    2. Less than 3% of women PHYSICALLY CAN’T breastfeed.

    3. More SIDS deaths have occurred in Pack n Play’s than while co-sleeping (excluding co-sleeping where the parent was intoxicated)

  58. by Joan

    On November 23, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Oh, and I couldn’t agree more with Ellie! I have a hard time believing that SIDS is as common as the diagnosis would lead you to believe.
    Sorry, but if you laid your baby down on a fluffy soft comforter on his belly and he didn’t wake up…that’s NOT SIDS! your baby suffocated because you weren’t thinking.

  59. by Hannah

    On November 23, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Wow… Just wow! “training” your child to sleep alone is a ridiculous concept to me. Why do we separate ourselves so much from animals that we neglect to remember that no other species leaves their young unnecessarily alone fir any extended time. Surely babies should be born and we should adapt our lives around them not vice versa! Obviously there are dangers involved with co sleeping but that’s why people get informed before choosing to do it!! The first comment on this page is very sad!!! Most sleep training is a nice way of saying ” ignore your baby”

  60. by Sharon

    On November 26, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I had a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks. I breastfed my daughter from the time she was an hour old until she was 4 months. I was diagnosed with ciliacs disease and had to change my diet. Within 48 hours, my daughter refused the breast. Don’t judge people when you don’t know what they’ve been through. I’d hate for any of you that are judging to not have your milk come in with your next child.

  61. by Mel

    On November 29, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Sorry, but I went against MANY of these “strict” guidelines with my three children when they were babies. Including the breast feeding.

    SIDS is a theory, not an exact science. They die from an UNKNOWN cause. Sadly, sometimes it just happens. It’s a VERY sad thing to hear of happening to these innocent, short lives.

    To the parents that have lost a baby to SIDS, please accept my heartfelt condolences.

    FYI to the Breast Feeding nazis of the boards, just to let your know ALL THREE of my (bottle fed) children (who are WELL past the baby/toddler stage), are either Gifted or highly Advanced students who are well-rounded and independent individuals of society.

    Oh, and they RARELY get sick, too!

  62. by Chris

    On November 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    To Joan, yes there may be some facts behind Elise’s comment, but it’s her lack of TACT that has us up in arms. I CHOSE to formula feed all three of my children and I have no regrets. All three of them are extremely healthy, happy, intelligent and successful young people. Choosing to bottle or breastfeed is a very personal choice and NOBODY should be made to feel guilty or told that they are lazy no matter what they choose and for whatever reason.

  63. by Catherine

    On December 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Elise- you still fail to understand where these women are coming from. It is not always about a choice to BF or not. Sometimes there are physical limitations. And it happens everywhere, not just Canada and the US. Of all my friends who are mothers, I would say about 33% of us had difficulty producing enough milk. I, like some of the other mothers here, saw several lactation consultants, was able to perfect both my sons latches, but the production just dropped off around the 3rd-4th month. I tried every trick in the book to help boost milk production, even prescriptions from my OBGYN. I was pumping at work every 2.5 hours for 30-40 mins at a stretch and by month 4 would barely get 6 ounces out of the whole day–after taking nearly 3 hours out of my workday to pump! It was incredibly upsetting, I felt like I was failing my child. But I was not alone, because it is just something that affects a fair amount of women. My sister over-produced, my best friend over-produced–to the point that she donated a ton of milk every week to a hospital. But in the past month alone 2 of my friends have experienced the same issue I did. I chose to supplement with formula so that my babies would not STARVE. I don’t think that makes me a bad mother. The added stress of under-production and feelings of inadequacy as a mother eventually did in my milk production altogether. It is very much a physiological issue, compounded later by a psychological issue in a lot of cases, as you can see from the other mothers who posted in response to your post. Try to be less judgemental. At least 10 people responded upset by your post…we can’t all be wrong. It’s probably you, not us. And spare us your supermom with no support structure act. You arent the first mother ever.

  64. by Catherine

    On December 1, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    And JOAN: usually when we are legitimately quoting what you call “facts” we include a reputable source. You did not. I am not inclined to believe it because YOU said it, and neither are most of the other moms on here. Golly gee, its a good thing you and Elise are on here to preach, otherwise how would the rest of us ever figure out how to raise our children?

    Spare us. And please back up your “facts”. I can assure you, in my own journey I did a ton of research, along with my OBGYN and 2 close friends who happen to be pediatricians.

  65. by holly m.

    On December 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

    & please drop the “well I survived” or “my kids survived” that is ludacris. They survived because you got lucky! There’s a reason there are guidlines & car seat laws! Because a LOT of kids did die that didn’t have to die. You just got lucky enough to not know that person.

  66. by Scrapeboard

    On December 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  67. by Laura Clark

    On December 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Wow. I don’t think there is any point in addressing Elise, she is clearly a very disturbed individual.

    My husband was one of five children raised in a very strict German American Catholic Household. He was formula fed, and he slept in a crib from day 1. He has a PhD in mathematics, and a successful career as an engineer, he is extremely healthy both physically and emotionally. This is also true of siblings.

    I have co-slept with all four of my children (I am an immigrant and it is normal in my culture.) I breastfed every one of them. They are healthy and thriving too. My mother-in-law and I have very different approaches, but GUESS WHAT! Our kids are fine. Raise your children with love and common sense, no one can ask more of you.

    Before I became a stay at home mother, I saw children die of SIDS in homes that I knew followed safety advice very carefully.

    I will continue to read safety guidelines, and the research that supports them carefully. In the end I will do what I believe is best.

  68. by Nonya

    On December 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Elise is nuts.

    I breastfed as long as I could, but for some reason I stopped producing. My son has been strictly formula fed since 3 weeks and excels at EVERYTHING. I also use a bumper in his crib because he tends to stick his arms and legs through the crib bars and gets them stuck. The bumper prevents that. He also sleeps with a blanket. He simply will not sleep without it (we tried in the beginning) and he’s been that way since birth.. he is a healthy and amazing 9 1/2 month old.

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    On December 31, 2011 at 6:55 am

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  70. by Katrena

    On January 4, 2012 at 2:12 am

    All I can tell you is I had one kid 19 years ago and one 9 years ago…the 19 year old was healthy as a horse with the exception of sleep apnea as a baby and now. The 9 year old has been sick from birth and still is. I slept with both in my room as infants and the 9 year old I still co-sleep with but I am a single parent and he is tube fed and tangles in his tube on a nightly basis. I have watched SIDS guidelines change and flip flop on an almost yearly basis and the statistics have changed very little with the guidelines. I fully appreciate the need for figuring out what causes it and stopping it but guessing and freaking out new parents is not helping. My 9 year old DID have SEVERE reflux. He required surgery to fix it it was so bad. The doctors didn’t believe it was that bad at first because he never developed aspiration pneumonia. He never developed THAT thankfully because my mommy instinct told me that my baby was throwing up too much and I was watching him when I was awake and he WAS on his back and he was NOT turning his head and clearing his airway. I was having to clear it for him and suction him out. If he had been put to sleep him on his back and vomited when he and I were both asleep he WOULD have definitely aspirated and had pneumonia and quite likely would have choked and possibly died in his sleep. Belittling the fears of parents with reflux babies is not a good thing either because doctors are truly not listening to THEM either. For 6 months I was shoved away and told he was “just a spitter” and I was a licensed nurse when he was born and a second time mom….not an inexperienced first time nervous mom.

  71. by NewDad

    On January 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Maybe we should just implant a chip in them when they are born that warns us when they have rolled over or when the state of their respiratory system changes. They should also wear helmets at all times- and full body armor.

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