Oh my gosh! How frustrated and angry does this make me. So, I hear on the news this morning that baby sleep positioners have been linked to Sudden Infant Deaf Syndrome and a number of suffocation incidences in newborns. This is soo sad, and my heart goes out to the parents of all them beautiful little angels.
It had me thinking though. When I was pregnant with Isla, I had all these news fads and gadgets shoved in my face. Lots of things that I didn’t use for Olivia. And I did cave in to one in particular… Ewan the sheep. The sheep that lights up red to mimic the colour of the womb and plays womb sounds, white noise, heart beats and a lullaby. I didn’t pay full price for Ewan, but Ewan was quite expensive! Ewan worked great for Isla, she loved the womb sounds, the white noise sounds, and settled so well, although I had to keep pressing the button to keep her asleep though. I literally believed that Ewan was the best thing since sliced bread- that there was a gadget that made parenting that little bit easier. She would cry or become a little agitated, and “bang!”…. here’s comes Ewan to the rescue! I started even telling people that they “needed” to get this little sheep!
The story of Ewan ended sadly. I dropped him. And lots of brambles and mud ended up tangled in his fluffy coat. So after unsuccessfully trying to clean him, we put him back in his box and said goodbye to Ewan and his weird and wonderful sounds. And poor Isla was left to settle without him. But she managed, in fact, there was no change at all, she just settled quite well, for a baby. Of course her sleep patterns regularly were changing, as do all babies, and some nights would be one feed, others would be none! Some would be 6 hours sleep, others would be 10! We later went on to find out Isla couldn’t hear! Which meant, that she never knew the purpose of Ewan… she never got any audio comfort from him! I had been recommending a product that literally had no impact on my child at all! And we can’t say she enjoyed him visually, as he was always tucked away, so she would have rarely seen him. The fact of the matter is, as parents, us responding to her needs, in a cool, calm and collected way, was what gave our daughter comfort- not white noise or bloody womb noises!
I toyed with the idea of getting a positioner, but I was advised by a Health Visior that, that there is no “actual” breathable fabric, but some would enable a child to breath for longer if they did find themselves in difficulty! There was also not enough study for her as a HV to really even comment on it. So based on that, I wasn’t sold! For the sake of a baby that “may” take longer to settle, I’d sooner her be safe. As a second time parent, your a lot more realistic to what does and doesn’t work, and you don’t try and show off with the latest trends… because, that’s exactly what they are! Being practical is by far more important than being…. well, fashionable i suppose is the word.
Truth is, parenting isn’t supposed to be easy. Your supposed to be challenged and sleep deprived. As humans we have been successfully raising babies for many, many years. There was no Ewan the sheep with the cave men, there wasn’t any white noise apps being played to babies during the war. Babies, whether they prefer to sleep on their back or their sides, they should be in a clear, flat Moses basket or cot in the same room as there parents for the first 6 months. These posiitoners are not magic. The art to getting your baby to sleep, is for you, as their parent, make them feel secure, safe, and loved. No modern day gimmicks or gadgets will replace that, and it’s so sad that some parents have had to find this out, in the worst way imaginable.