Saturday, September 15, 2007

SIDS Paranoia

So, now that Augustine is rolling over all the time, my SIDS fears have escalated even beyond the state of paranoia in which I was already living. I've always struggled with being a worrier, but when a friend of a friend's son died of SIDS at the age of 5 months and then a dear friend's beautiful two year old little girl died in her sleep of unknown causes, the fear of SIDS and SUDC shot through the roof. I strictly adhere to the "back to sleep" rule, but now Augustine is rolling over all the time from his back to his tummy, even while he is sleeping. I check on him constantly when he is sleeping and if I find that he has rolled over, I quickly flip him back over (after frantically checking if he is still breathing) and often wake him up.

I know that fear does not come from God. I should have more faith that He knows what is best for my family. But, at the same time, I know that if an infant sleeps on his back, the risk of SIDS goes down significantly. I fear the guilt I would feel if something did happen because I did not act on the this knowledge I have.

So, how do you deal with the fear of SIDS? How do you keep it from disrupting your life (and the peaceful sleep of both yourself and your infant)?


Lillian said...


He's still pretty little. I bet he would fit in those wedges that keeps the baby from rolling either way. I usually take a baby receiving blanket and roll it up and put one in front and behind baby. So they end up sleeping a little on their side but still mostly on their back.

Lillian said...


Here's a link to what I'm referring to. Something like this. I use something similar except it doesn't have the incline wedge (a neat feature I would LOVE to have since mine sometimes like to spit up).

Sorry the link isn't more beautiful. I don't know how to link in comments.

Lillian said...

Here's the rest of that link starting after the 2


Just go to the Babie R Us if you can't figure out this link. Its under bedding and infant sleep positioners.

Emily said...

Not sure if this helps but I have always found it nice to have baby in our bed... in the night I probably semi-wake several times an hour and flip the flipper back over without ever really "coming to." I always feel so much safer because I can check on them a thousand times a night and not really lose much sleep. I don't know where you have your little one sleeping.... but if you have him in a crib perhaps you might like a co-sleeper. I have never used one but I know people who are happy with theirs. I am not trying to push sleep sharing on you.... as different things work for different families (and I know of some situations where sleep sharing was a detriment as mom was just not able to get the sleep she needs due to a frequent nurser and not being able to really sleep from the distraction of having a baby along side). Just wanted to share what has worked for us. All that having been said.... I still worry about SIDS. It is so scary.

Colleen said...

Thanks for the info! I've always wondered if those thingees worked or not. I might have to give it a try.

We have a cosleeper and he usually is in our bed for at least part of the night and I, like you, wake often to check on him.

So, I guess my fears are pretty normal. But, I keep wondering, does having fear about something that really is not in my control mean that the real problem is a lack of faith on my part?

Blair said...

Colleen, just writing to say that I think I'll always have this fear. I still check on the girls most every night. Even when a baby is peacefully asleep in my bed, I am still anxious.

But I guess I could compare it to the fear when the children are quiet on the other side of the house...could they be choking? They are in the backyard alone for a minute...could someone have kidnapped them? I hope that these fears will make us better mothers, and not anxious and afraid moms who live in fear of the worst. I am prone to worry so I have to work through these things often!

Prayers for you and all moms, especially those whose worst fears have come true :(

Jill said...

I am a worrier too. I can't help it. We just love our little ones so much. I don't have much to offer other than prayers for peace.

Colleen said...

I check my older kids most nights, too. I wonder if when they are teenagers if I will still be checking at night to make sure they are breathing!

Lillian said...

I guess I've graduated from checking to see if they are breathing, to checking to see if they are in bed!!

Now that we visit grandparents almost every night, my fear is that one sleeping body will not make it fro the car to the house and will wake up at 2am to discover themselves locked in the car. And that they will be screaming all night while we sleep in bed.

Although this hasn't ever happened, I check all the beds just to make sure everyone got in. Sophia did fall asleep in the car and was out there for 5 minutes before we realized she wasn't inside in. Since then I have this compulsive need to check beds and count heads.

I can't control things like breathing. But I can count heads. I think as the family grows bigger and as they got older new worries will replace the old ones.

As for newborns, I prefer to have them sleep next to me too. And they don't leave our bed until .....

Colleen said...

So, what I get from all you awesome ladies is:

- all moms are worriers (is that a word?)
- SIDS is scary and being fearful of it is normal
- no matter what the ages of our children are, there will be things for us to worry about
- fears keep us alert so that we can prevent tragedies from happening
- prayer and grace will help us balance fears so they don't consume us

Thank you all for your input! You all (and your worries) are in my prayers tonight!!