Safe Sleep

Safe Sleep

SAFE SLEEP

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), can be described as every parent’s worst fear.  It is the sudden and unexplained death of a child under 1 year of age in their sleep.  In this post you will learn some useful tips to help you reduce the risk of SIDS in babies.

It is found that babies who sleep in the following conditions are LESS likely to die from SIDS.

Babies should sleep in a crib with a firm mattress and not on a couch or recliner.  The mattress should be covered with a tight sheet and there should be NO bumpers, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or anything soft inside the crib.

Babies should be put to sleep on their backs.  They should be wearing a sleeper or a onesie and not be over bundled.  Babies that are overly dressed or overly warmed are shown to have a higher risk of SIDS.  They should not be swaddled in a blanket to sleep.

Don’t be afraid to let your child use a pacifier when they fall asleep.  In fact, there is a growing body of evidence to support pacifier use to reduce the risk of SIDS in babies.  Once they fall asleep, the pacifier will usually drop out of their mouths and can be safely scooped away.

In addition, some of the things parents can do as well is to ensure there are no smokers in the house and to refrain from allowing your baby to co-sleep with any adult (specifically an overtired or intoxicated individual).

Taking all these steps will help you keep your baby healthy, happy, and sleeping safely!

**Disclaimer – Any information found in these blog posts is only for informational purposes and not intended to replace the diagnosis and care of a physician.  Should you have any specific concerns about your child, please consult with your family doctor or pediatrician.

 

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For The Newborn (Part 2)

For The Newborn (Part 2)

FOR THE NEWBORN (Part 2)

All babies should lose weight within the first few days of life.  This is NORMAL.  They can lose up to 10% of their birthweight.  They should however, starting gaining weight by day 4 or 5 such that they regain weight back to their original birthweight by the time they are 10 days old.

Your baby will often get their first bath in the hospital.  We try to have this done by about 24 hours of age, but if your baby is having difficulties staying warm, then this is often delayed until they can keep their temperature within normal range.

Other things to know:

If your baby is larger than the average, smaller than the average, born earlier than 37 weeks or you had diabetes in your pregnancy then the nurses will check your baby’s blood sugar with a heel poke a few times after birth.  There is a chance baby can have a low blood sugar in these cases and require extra feeds or IV sugar treatment.

If there was concern regarding fever or infection during your labor, your baby will be monitored more closely to ensure they don’t develop an infection.  This usually means checking their breathing, heart rate and temperature every four hours as opposed to every 6 or 12 hours.  If there is greater concern of serious infection during your labour, then your baby might get bloodwork within the first few hours of life as well.

All babies get a heel poke at or after the 24hour mark for routine screening bloodwork.  In BC, this is called a newborn screen.  The lab will come and poke baby’s heel for some blood and fill in three dots on a piece of paper.  This test screens for 23 rare but treatable diseases that can occur in infants.  If you do not want this done for your child, then a waiver must be signed indicating that you declined this test.  I highly recommend you do this test as this testing has caught and saved many babies from developing life-threatening or life-altering consequences which would occur if the diseases were not found early.

Nearly all babies also get their bilirubin tested with the newborn screen.  This test is looking for jaundice.  Nearly all babies have a risk factor for jaundice and so most hospitals will test all newborns for this.  Clinically speaking, jaundice is the yellow colouration of the skin and eyes which occurs from accumulation of bilirubin.  Bilirubin is a byproduct of the blood in your body.  Healthy adults can get rid of this easily, but infants have immature livers and kidneys which makes it slower for them to get rid of the bilirubin.  There are also other risk factors such as incompatibility with Mom’s blood, infection etc which can contribute to jaundice.  Very high bilirubin can cause kernicterus which is deposition of bilirubin in the brain.  This can lead to deafness, seizures, abnormal movements, and developmental delay.

**Disclaimer – Any information found in these blog posts is only for informational purposes and not intended to replace the diagnosis and care of a physician.  Should you have any specific concerns about your child, please consult with your family doctor or pediatrician.

For The Newborn (Part 1)

For The Newborn (Part 1)

FOR THE NEWBORN (Part 1)

Congratulations on your new baby!  It is a new and exciting time in life, but also very scary and tiring.  For the first few days of your baby’s life, have very few expectations.  They should learn to eat, sleep, poo and pee, and that is about it.  Babies should poo and pee at least once within the first 24 hours of life.

Breastfeeding is not an automatic skill that babies are born with, and Moms should not expect a natural instinct as to the techniques necessary to breastfeed.  It is a difficult process.  Breastmilk takes 3-5 days to start coming in and this is NORMAL.  Babies are made to only need a little bit of colostrum (precursor to breastmilk) in the first few days.  This does not mean your baby will not feel hunger however.  Generally, for the first 24 hours of life, babies sleep like angels and cry very little because they are resting from the birthing process.  The following 24 hours are when baby starts to feel hunger and most Moms only have a little bit of colostrum to give them at this time.  This is ok.  Your baby will not starve or dehydrate.  Just keep breastfeeding, this will make your milk come in faster and help your baby learn to feed.

Do not expect to have a regular feeding schedule until about 5 days of life.  Babies will feed erratically in the first 5 days of life.  For example, they may feed for 5 minutes, stop for 10 minutes, then want another feed, then stop and not want a feed for 2 hours, etc.  It will be unpredictable.  Following that time, most babies will breastfeed for about 30 minutes every 2-3 hours.

To Be Continued… Stay Tuned!

**Disclaimer – Any information found in these blog posts is only for informational purposes and not intended to replace the diagnosis and care of a physician.  Should you have any specific concerns about your child, please consult with your family doctor or pediatrician.