Recently the Fisher-Price Rock’N’Play was recalled due to infant deaths. As a mom who struggled to get their child to sleep, I totally understand all you mothers out there for whom the Rock’N’Play felt like a game-changer in helping your baby get their beauty sleep. If you’re feeling defensive about giving up your Rock’N’Play, please read the following article by Dr. Diane Arnaout from We Are Pediatricians:
April 13th at 10:19 AM
Okay, you guys are going to come to my office in masses with pitchforks for this one, but hear me out. 🔥🔥🔥
A lot of you have had strong opinions about the Rock-N-Play recall. Many of your babies have slept peacefully and safely in them. I get it. I had one too, and my infant napped great in it. But listen – after a recent study, we learned that babies have died in them. Died. That’s it, gone. 30+ families have lost their child.
It may have had to do with them rolling out. Or the way their chins touched their chest, blocking their airway and preventing good breathing. No matter how, they were in a Rock-N-Play, and now they’re gone. We pediatricians (and the AAP, and the FDA) do not want your children to die. So bring your pitchforks, okay? Just know that we aren’t being this strict about safe sleep just to be authoritative, or climb on some soapbox.
While you’re blazing up the torches, let’s talk about another one of my most hated infant items: sleep positioners/nests. I know. I know. You guys love them. You put your baby in bed with you. You feel like they have their own sleep space. The baby feels nestled and cozy. Yay sleep. All is well. Until your baby turns his sweet little head to the side. Maybe even his body nestles to the side. Maybe his face presses into the “breathable” material. Maybe he breathes comfortably here for awhile. The air in that little space by his face is breathed in, and out. Oxygen goes in, carbon dioxide goes out. Slowly, there is more exhaled carbon dioxide in that little space than there is oxygen.
What most parents (and even medical professionals) don’t realize is that CARBON DIOXIDE REBREATHING is something researchers believe contributes heavily to sudden infant death. What is “carbon dioxide rebreathing?” “Rebreathing” — when a baby breathes in his or her own exhaled air — particularly if the infant is sleeping on a soft mattress or with bedding, stuffed toys, or a pillow near the face. As the baby rebreathes exhaled air, the oxygen level in the body drops and the level of carbon dioxide rises.” (source: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sids.html)
This is part of the reason why we don’t want them on their stomachs.
This is why we don’t want them in bed with you.
This is why we don’t want them on your soft mattress, around your soft blankets, or nestled into your sleep shirt.
They rebreathe air if anything is close to or blocking their airway.
This is why I don’t want you to put your baby in these sleep positioners.
Listen, we pediatricians are tired parents, too. I’m not here to judge you or your day-by-day struggle to survive. But babies die. We don’t want your baby to die. Please put them on their back, on a flat, firm mattress in their own crib or bassinette with no pillows, blankets, bumpers, positioners, or “nests”.
🔥🔥🔥 Bring on them pitchforks, friends. I’m only here because I care.