Tag: Baby Sleep

Part 2: Overheating & SIDS

Blog Post 4.18.15 Overheating and SIDS Part 2

For part 1, click here!


Well, for the better half of Jia’s first year, I was slightly obsessive over taking precautionary measures to minimize Jia’s risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). SIDS is the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that occurs during sleep, that is unexplained after investigation through an autopsy. And in 2010, according to the National Vital Statistics System at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SIDS is the #3 leading cause of infant death in the United States. (Congenital malformations (deformations and chromosomal abnormalities) and short gestation/low birth weight were the first and second causes, respectively.)1 (this is the most current death data available)

A triple-risk model (how a combination of 3 contributing risk factors) for SIDS was published in an issue of Pediatrics2, and defined vulnerable infants as the following: 

Image from Trachtenberg et al., Pediatrics; 2012. 129(4): 630-638.

Image from Trachtenberg et al., Pediatrics; 2012. 129(4): 630-638.

As you can see from the image, “genetic polymorphisms” in the “vulnerable infant” category is a harder one to really pinpoint or know unless you had extensive genetic analysis performed or knew that SIDS deaths ran in your family. Babies in the critical developmental period are those infants <1 year, and exogenous stressors are environmental/situational things that can play a role. 

The Back to Sleep/Safe to Sleep Campaign3 reminds us that SIDS is:

  • NOT Death by suffocation
  • NOT caused by vaccines/immunizations/shots
  • NOT caused by vomiting or choking
  • NOT completely preventable (though measures can be taken that greatly reduce the risk)
  • NOT caused by cribs

I studied maternal and child health for years and worked in public health long enough that the “Back to Sleep”/Safe to Sleep Campaign burned a permanent slogan into my head, when it came to the topic of infant sleep. After all, according to a research study by Trachtenberg, et al., the Back to Sleep Campaign, which began in 1994 by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, almost immediately and significantly reduced the number of SIDS deaths by more than 50% over the course of 10 years after its inception.2

So obviously, since the arrival of Jia, we had to be sure we were taking all measures to make sure everything was done right. Continue reading

Sleep Training Part 2: Sleeping Through The Night

Blog Post 2.7.15 Sleep Train Part 2(Excerpted from Sleep Training Part 1) To SKIP this section and go straight to Part 2, Click Here

Sleep Training isn’t new. The formal rules/guidelines are rather new, but I asked my mom what she did with my brother and me, and she said she didn’t train us to sleep. She had me in my nursery room, they didn’t have a monitor, and she closed my door and closed their bedroom door. She said “Yeah you probably cried, but you were fine.” ha! 

Some parents choose not to formally sleep train and to let their baby grow into their own natural rhythms of sleeping and needing comfort through parental intervention. That’s completely fine and each and every family goes about the topic of sleeping at their own approach. After hearing some horror stories of non-sleep trained babies, we decided before Jia was born that we would read up, take notes, and train Jia.

So what’s “Sleep Training”? Continue reading

Your Snoozin Sprout


Whether or not you plan to (or currently) “sleep train” your baby, new parents and parents-to-be are familiar with wondering if their baby will be a “good sleeper,” or if they will be up all night long. It seems as though the instant you bring your baby home, strangers and family members start to ask “ohhh is she sleeping through the night yet?”

For some, it’s nothing more than an innocent question, but for others it can be obnoxious. Tired parents will sense a notion of judgment or eagerness to hear of the parent’s failure to being able to keep their baby asleep, or they just dread hearing the question because it reminds them of how little sleep they are actually getting.

Good sleeper or not, there’s one thing that I think we can all agree on – that newborns sleep differently than young infants, and young infants sleep differently than older babies. When Jia was sleeping in our living room in her crib, Jeff and I tiptoed around our 1-bedroom condo like you wouldn’t believe. For a handful of weeks I was living on-edge after 8:30 PM. I dreaded bedtime. Whether it was the dogs barking at something they heard outside our window, needing to take a quick trip to the fridge, opening and closing our squeaking front door (thank you WD-40) or wondering if the dropping of the shampoo bottle in the shower was enough to rouse her from her light sleep, I was going nuts.

Nowadays, in her own room sleeping 11-11.5 hours straight, I still wonder: how come our friends’ toddler needs the clanking of pots and pans or loudly opening and closing dresser drawers to wake up, whereas sometimes it seems Jia can sleep through an army passing by her door but other nights her sleep will be disturbed by Jeff blowing his nose next door?

We started talking about this and I became curious – how are sleep patterns and brain waves different for infants and toddlers, and when do they change?

Continue reading

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