03 February 2009

co-sleeping

In light of a recent CDC report on co-sleeping, here is a very sensible National Public Radio segment from the show "Tell Me More", which includes several parenting segment regulars, as well as Dr. James McKenna, director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame

1 comment:

TSC said...

I'm doing research on SIDS and was just surfing on by but if you're interested to know here is why stomach sleep is far better for infants than back sleep. It prevents SIDS because Back Sleep does not allow an infant to get Deep Sleep (Stage 3/4 NREM sleep) which is when Babies primarily die of SIDS. Stage 3/4 NREM sleep is also when much of a babies plasticity and memory consolidation happens.

Infants that sleep on their backs compared to infants who sleep on their stomachs have increased rates of:
- Social skills delays at 6 months (Dewey, Fleming, et al, 1998)
- Motor skills delays at 6 months (Dewey, Fleming, et al, 1998)
- gastroesophageal reflux (GER) (Corvaglia, 2007)
- Milestone delays (Davis, Moon, et al., 1998)
- Plagiocephaly, Torticollis, Strabismus, apnea, etc. etc. etc.

My question is: If a doctor was presented with a baby that had social skills delays, motor skills delays, and gastroesophageal reflux what would a doctor say if a child had these three things but not too bad. The doctor might tell the parent to be patient and that different kids develop differently. But, what if the case was more severe - what if the kids social skills were worse? The doctor might diagnose him with ADHD. But, what if the kids delays were really far behind - that is the kid had very large delays in social skills and motor skills? The doctor might diagnose him with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I think part (if not all) of the Autism Epidemic is caused by the SIDS Back to Sleep campaign. This is totally unrelated to plagiocephaly only that plagiocephaly could be used as a marker for how well the parents followed the SIDS Back to Sleep advice. My guess is that for every 30 boys who slept in the supine position and have plagiocephaly then 5 will be diagnosed with ADHD and 1 will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My guess is that for every 210 girls put to sleep in the supine position that 5 will eventually be diagnosed with ADHD and 1 will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is just my theory.

BTW, the chair of the U.S. SIDS Task Force had a baby daughter die at the age of 3 in 1966. Very tragic, but I wonder if that creates some type of emotional bias and is the reason he downplays all of the side effects of the SIDS Back to Sleep Campaign.