Benefits of Breastfeeding 0Although medical views on breastfeeding tend to change like trends over the years, a new mom simply has to weigh the benefits of breastfeeding against any cons when deciding if breastfeeding is the right choice for herself, her family and her new baby. Every mom and every situation is different. In this article, we'll put together some thoughts that might assist in making such a decision, but remember, it's very personal and you shouldn't let anyone influence you to do something you really don't feel is right for you. An unhappy breastfeeding mom is soon bound to find the reason why breastfeeding just isn't possible for her, and there can be a lot of guilt attached to that kind of negative decision making. So ultimately, when people are putting pressure on you one way or another, try to gently remind them that you've weighed all the facts about breastfeeding and have decided the best option for you. A few positive benefits of breastfeeding your baby: 1.) It's medically agreed that the fluid colostrum, secreted from the post-partum breast before the milk comes in, is a high-density brain food for baby which builds immunities naturally. Its typical during this time for older generations, extended family and even some doctors to tell the new mother that she's not producing enough milk to feed her baby and to advise bottle/formula feeding. They often attribute every little whimper from the newborn as a cry for being hungry. This is very worrisome for a sometimes anxious new mom and most often, it's simply not true. The fact is, this status of the breast providing little or not so noticeable quantities of clear fluid during nursing can safely remain for several days. It is the act of sucking on the breast that causes the milk to come. A relaxed you and your baby will make it happen with a little persistence. In the meantime, you can rest assured your baby is being fed a miraculous substance that he/she'll get only once in a lifetime. 2.) No muss, little fuss. No heating, washing, or carrying bottles. No measuring and mixing formulas. No watching and worrying about ounces taken in by baby. No accidentally too hot or too cold temperatures of the formula. When your baby is hungry, all you have to do is think of her/him and your milk will come down the breast, ready to feed. Perfect amount, perfect temperature. No danger of bottle tooth decay. No high fat cow's milk, no allergic reactions, no lactate or soy intolerances, all of which can contribute later to child obesity and complicate other illnesses. Your breastmilk is perfectly designed for your baby, will change as your baby's needs change, adding nutrients, having thirst quenching qualities or hunger satisfying qualities as needed. In addition, breastfeeding is all natural, and waste-free, therefore a completely environmentally friendly process. 3.) The perfect food provided by breastfeeding also produces less smelly diapers. Yes, soiled diapers are unpleasant when compared to flowers, but comparing formula fed and breastfeed babies' dirty diapers, the smell of breastfed babies excretions, both diapers and spit up residue are significantly less offensive to the nose than that of formula fed babies. Breastmilk contains the exact right nutrients for your baby. Unlike any other food on earth, breastmilk guards the newborn against stomach bacteria, aids in digestion and allows for fulfillment of your baby's potential in optimal physical and mental development. Babies who are breastfed have been shown to have higher IQs than formula fed babies. Breastfed babies also have the emotional advantage of skin-to-skin contact with mother, which enhances bonding and is not the usual practice of bottle fed babies. 4.) Breastfeeding mom's recuperate from childbirth faster. Carrying your baby to term and the process of giving birth has likely left your body retaining fluid, and the uterus stretched out. Don't be alarmed at the menstrual like flow and cramps you'll experience during the first couple of weeks while you breastfeed. The very act of breastfeeding causes the repeated release of a chemical in your body called oxytocin, which causes the uterus to contract back to its pre-pregnancy size and prevents hemorrhaging in the first 48 hours after giving birth. Sustained and exclusive breastfeeding is also an effective birth control method. Milk production can take up to 500 calories a day, which assists new moms in more rapid and steady weight loss than formula feeding moms. Women who breastfeed their children are at significantly less risk for breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, as are, amazingly enough, their breastfed children. Negative aspects of breastfeeding your baby and some solutions: 1.) There is an initial period of time when your nipples can be very tender and sometimes even painful. As your baby's sucking toughens up your nipples, you may also find that your nipples actually crack and bleed. Just as your nipples begin to heal, its time for the next feeding and these wounds can be re-opened and painful. This is a natural process and you don't need to worry about baby getting a little bit of blood during nursing sessions as your nipples heal. Remember, not long before this, you shared a bloodstream. But this is a very challenging time for mother as she may be insecure about breastfeeding and now have excruciating pain during the process. On the other hand, this is a short lived problem for mothers who really want to breastfeed, so hang in there if it happens to you. The nipples will heal and the breastmilk will aid in this. The baby will learn how to suck with your helpful free hand guiding the nipple toward proper positioning, and breastfeeding will soon be a joy for moms who can withstand this temporary difficultly. Most hospitals offer nursing assistance or some sort of counseling to get you started in helping baby suckle properly. Contact your local La Leche League. There are also many breastfeeding manuals you can read for perfecting this art. 2.) When mom is breastfeeding, dads may feel a little left out of the process. Dad will not be able to enjoy the strong and effortless bonding that occurs during feeding time. So, breastfed baby's daddy will need to make an extra effort to find other ways to bond with newborn. Daddy can lay quietly next to breastfeeding baby and mom, stroking and encouraging them both. Daddy can take baby immediately after baby is finished feeding, to burp, interact and cuddle or play. For the working mom who uses a breast pump and saves her milk for supplemental bottle use (recommended only for older babies, not newborns learning how to breastfeed), Daddy can feed baby this ultra-healthy substance himself. Remember, quite often breastfeeding itself takes place in the life of a baby and a family for only a matter of months. Soon, baby will be taking solids as well, which Daddy can provide. 3.) Mom must take all the night time feeding responsibility, this is true. But Daddy can pitch in during these early months by taking the baby from sleepy mom after the feeding and rocking, diapering or comforting as needed. Here's a good place to remind all those conscientious parents who are advised never to bring baby to the spousal bed. Yet, there is no easier way to cope with sleep deprivation than to bring the infant to the family bed, nuzzle him to the breast and go blissfully back to sleep. Watchful Dad can then enjoy the pleasure of being close during this process or take fulfilled baby back to the crib, making night feedings a family effort. Don't be shy. Don't leave this all up to Mom. This is Daddy's lovely baby too and no one is more creative than a loving, attentive Daddy, singling out the needs of his new baby and his breastfeeding wife. 4.) Restriction of certain foods and medicines must be taken into account when breastfeeding. While foods like peanut butter and broccoli may cause gassiness in babies and for some breastfeeding mom's should be avoided, for othe r breastfeeding mothers, these foods may cause no problems for baby. Substances like caffeine and alcohol can be hidden in even some over the counter medications so be mindful, these are not good for baby. Certain foods can also alter the taste of the breastmilk and may cause the baby to fuss, so breastfeeding mom's should remain sensitive to diet at all times while breastfeeding. In addition, of course all medicines and alcohol will have the potential to penetrate into the breastmilk, so moms who have to take certain medicines for their own health should always consult their physicians about how this will effect a decision to breastfeed. Some parents may be concerned that breastfeeding can become too restrictive in terms of being able to leave their baby with relatives or sitters to get out for a night or go back to work. Consider breast pump options as a possible solution when you are ready to become more independent of the exclusive breastfeeding. Carefully and patiently introduce bottles containing the familiar 'breast food of health' can give mom more freedom to get away, especially when baby is getting older. In conclusion, there are certainly many other factors that weigh in on making this decision for you and your baby. It's important to do your own research, know the facts and myths of breastfeeding before you take mis-informed advice out of guilt or obligation. Everyone will offer an opinion, but in the end, its you and your family that will carry out and live with the decision whether or not to breastfeed, so make it a comfortable one that you and your spouse have seriously contemplated and feel sure its the right choice for you. Author: H D Adkins Article written April 2007 by HD Adkins for Organic Baby Store - HerSweetBaby.com. About the author: H D Adkins is a content writer for hersweetbaby.com. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/goetter/1353787707/
- Tags: Attachment Parenting Breastfeeding breastfeeding benefits breastfeeding facts breastfeeding immune system breastfeeding immunity breastfeeding intellgence breastfeeding SIDS breastfeeding vs formula Child Development Child Nutrition Family Bed formula or breastfeeding Infant Bonding Natural Baby Food Natural Healthcare Organic Baby Care why breastfeed
New Parent Preparations 0So you're pregnant? Congratulations! Your life is about to change in ways you might find unthinkable (and we're not even talking about the surrender of your once slim waistline to proportions most comparable to that of a Dr. Suess character). Pregnancy is the beginning of a new life for a baby, but also a new life for you as a parent. If this is your first baby, you may be filled with an endless list of questions and concerns. If you're a veteran of the labor and delivery room, you've got a better idea of what to expect, yet every pregnancy, like every mother and child, is different. Making Choices While pregnancy and birth have physiologically been the same since the beginning of time, your options as a pregnant woman today are greater than at any previous time in history. After confirming your pregnancy, your first (and arguably most important) decision to be made is choice of caregiver. While traditionally in the U.S., maternal care has been provided through obstetrical physicians and hospital births, there is a growing movement towards return to low intervention, midwife-assisted births*. How do you know which is right for you? Consider what is most important to your birth experience (always remembering that birth is anything but predictable and flexibility is vital). Are you interested in birthing natural, without the aid of drugs or invasive procedures? Would you rather give birth at home or in a birthing center as opposed to a hospital? A midwife may be the right choice for you. Conversely, if you know up front you'll want an epidural at the first sign of labor pain you'll probably find the anesthesiologist at your local hospital to be your best friend. Keep in mind, each choice has its pros and cons and it's up to you to weigh which option is the best for your needs. If you give birth at home and have complications, you'll need to be transported to the hospital. Epidurals may provide excellent pain relief (or not), but have potentially serious, although rare, side effects. Some birthing centers will not accept a mother attempting vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC). Being an educated consumer in your pregnancy will allow the best possible birth experience and beginning for your new baby. Planning for Baby Somewhere around middle to late pregnancy (usually about the time you can no longer see your toes because of your protruding middle), you'll want to start making accommodations at home for your babies expected arrival. If this is your first, trust yourself to the care of an experienced mommy friend who can prevent "New Mother Shopping Syndrome," i.e., going to Babies 'R Us and spending an exorbitant amount of money on baby paraphernalia that, not only do you not need, but you will never use. Yes, the mommy bear that emits sounds of the womb is cute. No, your baby will not be fooled. This is the time to cultivate self control, which will particularly come in handy when your precious baby has become a 16-year old who has just wrecked the family car. Babies actually need very little in the way of gear for the first few months of life. If you're planning to family bed, you can skip the nursery furniture altogether. Some good choices of useful items include a five-point harness infant car seat, a quality hospital grade breast pump if you're planning to breastfeed (Medela is the gold star standard), and plenty of Onesies for sleep and play. A baby sling is also useful for helping mom get things done around the house while still meeting the babies need to be held, and also for discreet public breastfeeding. Also unnecessary are baby toys, gyms, etc., which will not be of interest to the infant until they are at least six months old. Delivering the Goods Prepare for labor and delivery by compiling a plan for your caregiver sharing your wishes for birth. Discuss your feelings on all types of childbirth medical intervention including the use of epidural, IV's, artificial rupture of the membranes, fetal monitors, episiotomy, etc. Remember that a birth plan is simply that, a plan. Since no one knows exactly how any given birth will proceed, it is not a guarantee of any kind*. While the mother's experience with birth is important, the ultimate goal is a healthy baby, whatever it takes to achieve it*. A birth plan is simply helpful in communicating the type of birth experience you would like to have, and if you have made a wise selection in caregiver, you will have someone who will work with you to honor these wishes to the extent they are possible. You may want to hire a doula to assist during labor. A doula's purpose is to support and be an advocate for the mother, and can be helpful in achieving the mother's goals towards birth. Surviving the First Weeks After nine months of waiting and planning, your baby is finally in arms. What next? Despite that you might feel you've gotten away with something when the hospital staff actually allows you to leave with your baby (whom you think you have no idea how to care for), remembering a few simple tips can help things go more smoothly. Feed your baby on demand. Don't try to schedule feeding sessions, which can be detrimental to establishing a proper milk supply if breastfeeding, and simply isn't good for baby. Keep a record of wet and soiled diapers for the first few weeks to assure baby is taking in enough breast milk or formula. Hold baby as often as possible. Contrary to popular opinion, he can't be spoiled. Always remember to place your baby on his back to sleep and tummy to play, to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Call your pediatrician if your baby develops a fever, or if you have any questions or concerns. Most importantly, remember motherhood is a work in progress and cut yourself some slack. You will make mistakes, learn, grow and change. Both babies and parents are born, and neither reaches their full potential overnight. Author: Barbara Eastom Bates About the author: Barbara Eastom Bates is a freelance writing living in east Tennessee with her husband and two children. In addition to writing articles about pregnancy and parenting, Barbara develops quality of life media for Navy and Marine Corps families. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/supercake/438139776/
How to Discreetly Breastfeed Your Baby in Public 7If you are a first time mother, you will most likely have some apprehension about breastfeeding in public unless you grew up on a hippie commune. The biggest hurdle first time mothers face is the decision to breastfeed in the first place. This can be daunting in the face of formula advertisements and samples, ignorant relatives who think breastfeeding is sinful or well meaning friends who shoo you to the bathroom to nurse. Learning how to be discreet from the get go can help ease you into your breastfeeding relationship so outside influences do not cause you undue stress, force you to hide or worse yet, wean too soon. Have you ever wondered how you are going to be able to go out with your baby because he needs to feed so often? Do you carefully plan when and where you go so there's somewhere convenient you can feed your baby? Have you ever sat in a cold, smelly public bathroom wishing your baby would hurry up and finish feeding so you could get out of there? Once you've got the hang of breastfeeding/nursing at home you may wonder how to discreetly breastfeed in public. This is actually much easier than you may think. It is perfectly possible to breastfeed so discreetly that no one will even know that your baby is feeding. It's also possible to breastfeed 'on the go', so you don't need to find somewhere private to sit and you can keep yourself and your baby covered so that no one can see anything. I've found that the key to discreet breastfeeding is to have the right 'tools' to do the job. Useful tools to help you breastfeed your baby discreetly Attitude The most important part of successfully breastfeeding in public is attitude. When you know you are giving your baby the best start in life you can breastfeed with confidence. However, although you know you're doing the right thing for you and your baby not everyone sees it like that. We all know that many people are uncomfortable with seeing mothers breastfeeding their babies and so I believe it is worth learning how to do it discreetly to minimize other people's discomfort when in public. Breastfeeding and Nursing Bras Many maternity bras can be used for breastfeeding, however sizing is very important when you are breastfeeding. It's not unusual to experience quite significant changes after giving birth when your milk comes in, and for some time afterwards, for as long as you breastfeed. So be prepared to go through several sizes during this time. Nursing bras are designed to offer easy access so you can feed your baby quickly, easily and discreetly. You may also use pads, which help absorb excess milk. Some bras have clips or clasps that allow access to one side at a time, while others are simply moved aside. Which styles you choose will be largely a matter of preference and may depend upon other factors such as your bra size. For discreet breastfeeding a bra that allows you to quickly and easily open and close each side, preferably with one hand works best. Breastfeeding and Nursing clothing If you want to discreetly feed your baby in a sling or just while you're sitting in a public place it helps to be able to do it with as little skin showing as possible. When you are feeding your baby and no skin is showing most people will not be aware that that is what you are doing. They will probably just see you holding a sleeping baby in your arms. Nursing or breastfeeding clothes are specially designed clothes that have concealed openings, or that can be moved up, down, or to the side to give you easy access so that you can quickly feed your baby with a minimum amount of fuss or disruption. Breastfeeding when wearing clothes like this helps you to feel less exposed, not to mention it keeps you warm in cold weather! It also reduces the amount of unwanted attention you may receive in public, as it is very hard to tell that your baby is feeding. Breastfeeding clothes can help you feed your baby quickly, easily and discreetly. It may be helpful to remember that there is nothing dirty or shameful about feeding your child. When you are breastfeeding, your child's head will totally cover your breast. Nobody will see anything. The problem arises because ignorant people have a problem with the act of breastfeeding in public not the fact that they saw exposed breast. It is sad that women are so embarrassed of the act of breastfeeding that they feel compelled to hide. Baby slings and wraps There are many reasons for carrying your baby in a sling. One of the most useful is that you soon learn your baby's cues so when you're carrying her in the sling and she's hungry you can feed her immediately. What this means is that your baby will rarely cry when she's hungry, simply because she doesn't need to. You can give her what she needs without having to stop what you're doing in order to find somewhere convenient to feed her. So if you're in the supermarket and she wants to feed, you can do it. Not only is this convenient for you, but it's very discreet, because nobody else can see what your baby is doing! How discreet depends on the type of sling or carrier you have and the position you use to feed your baby in. Cradle hold is the most commonly used position for feeding. This position works well in pouches, ring slings and wraps. Most of the time it's hard to tell what the baby is doing, however, open tails on ring slings provide extra cover for even more privacy. The snuggle hold or tummy-to-tummy position can also be used for breastfeeding, however, this tends to be a little less discreet. This position is commonly used with other soft fabric carriers like Mei Tais as well as with pouches, ring slings and wraps. Most mothers find it quite difficult to breastfeed in rigid or structured carriers, as they are generally not very adjustable. As babies start getting more interested in what's happening around them they can get easily distracted which can make it quite difficult to feed your baby in public at this stage. Discreet breastfeeding becomes almost impossible as he may stop and start at every sound or passer-by. To help prevent this, feeding your baby in a sling means you can protect him from outside distractions, especially if you use the tail of a ring sling to cover him completely. You can also more easily hold him in position by using the sling in addition to your arms. Another option to ensure your baby feeds discreetly at this stage is to walk around with him feeding in the sling. No one will be able to tell your baby is feeding and he'll likely be soothed by the familiar rhythm of your movement, losing interest in outside distractions. For successful discreet breastfeeding it's important to choose a sling that allows you to easily hold or switch your baby into a natural feeding position with the minimum amount of fuss as well as offering ample cover-up. Breastfeeding / nursing necklaces Some mothers find that their baby's hands can wander while they're feeding, so it can be helpful to wear a specially designed nursing necklace. You can then redirect your baby so that she can play with the necklace instead of doing things like playing with your clothes, which may draw attention to the fact that you are breastfeeding. Nursing necklaces can help keep your baby's attention focused so you can continue to breastfeed discreetly. Practice With practice you will find you can quickly and easily breastfeed your baby discreetly, anytime, anywhere. It's like breastfeeding itself, or using a baby sling - practice at home first, watch yourself in a mirror and you'll soon see how difficult it is to see that your baby is breastfeeding. If you are at all nervous about breastfeeding/nursing in public, then I hope these tips will help support you with your decision to breastfeed your baby so that you can do it both discreetly and with confidence. Good luck!!! Please remember to keep at it. Do not let a few naysayers ruin the bond or nutrition between you and your child. You may be unsure of yourself while your baby is a newborn but six months or a year down the road you will realize that the vast majority of total strangers are very supportive and happy to see you nursing. The rest of them usually think your baby is sleeping. You can't get the time back so nurse proud and nurse long! You can do it! Author: Karen Hunt About the author: The author is mother of 2 and founder of natya BABYSLINGS, the stylish UK made baby sling. http://www.natyababyslings.com/ Buy the: Arabella Nursing Privacy Drape - Breast-Feeding Image Source: The International Women's Day Demostration in Valencia Spain, March 8, 2008
SIDS Cribs and Cosleeping 20SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Hearing those four little words or the one little acronym can strike fear in the heart of any new parent. SIDS is real, random, quick and totally unexpected. Parents will naturally do anything in their power to prevent the unthinkable from happening to their perfectly healthy newborn. What is SIDS? Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is exactly what it sounds like. A perfectly healthy newborn baby, usually less than 6 months old, simply stops breathing in their sleep. The unsuspecting parents go to wake their child up from his or her nap and find their worst nightmare has come true. While many theories are flying around about the cause of SIDS, most focus on the deepness of sleep and how it affects the child's breathing. Babies do not sleep as soundly when they are on their backs and many attribute this fact to the success of the "back to sleep" campaign. SIDS Cribs. Could there be a connection? Another theory which you may not be familiar with is that the crib mattress itself is to blame for SIDS cases. It is actually the chemicals and toxins emitted from the mattress that is actually to blame. Arsenic, phosphorus and antimony are intentionally added to crib mattresses by the manufacturers as fire retardants. SIDS was very rare prior to the 1950s when these additives became standard.
"As crib mattresses start to age, these fire retardant chemicals react with ordinary household fungi (harmless fungi, at that) to create a very, very dangerous chemical reaction. The toxins emitted, as these compounds interact, are actually a thousand times more toxic than carbon monoxide."According to the article found at bestinbedding.com "As crib mattresses start to age, these fire retardant chemicals react with ordinary household fungi (harmless fungi, at that) to create a very, very dangerous chemical reaction. The toxins emitted, as these compounds interact, are actually a thousand times more toxic than carbon monoxide. While other factors like nutrition, smoking around the baby, and sleep position are still potentially factors in SIDS, given the research relating non-organic crib mattresses to fatal toxin release should be enough for new mothers to take a look at their portable and non-portable crib mattress purchases." In addition, the toxins emitted become greater as time goes on. This may explain why SIDS rates are higher for second children.....and higher yet for third children and so on. Many parents will only purchase a crib mattress one time and re-use it for all of their children. In addition, the fungi left by the first baby is already in place to start interacting with the chemicals more quickly when the following children use the mattress. The toxic mattress theory also explains why the "Back to sleep" campaign has been so successful. If a baby is not lying face down in a pool of neuro-toxins then they at least have a bit of fresh air in the mix and a better shot at survival. The toxic gases released by the mattress when it interacts with the fungi is very dense and heavier than air so it lies in a very thin film on the mattress which the baby is face-first in when sleeping in a prone position. If you think the toxic mattress theory has merit or if you just want to err on the side of caution then there are three options you have to minimize your newborn's exposure to these potentially lethal toxins (which some also theorize are connected to the rise in autism in the United States): 1. Purchase an organic crib mattress 2. Mattress wrapping 3. Co-sleeping Let's quickly explore these three options. Organic Crib Mattress Organic crib mattresses are free of synthetic fabrics, plastics, formaldehyde, chemicals, dyes and the hazardous chemicals that are linked to SIDS. The mattresses are commonly made with wool which acts as a natural fire retardant. Even if SIDS does not concern you, do you want your child spending 70% of their early life laying on a toxic, synthetic mattress? Don't forget to make sure baby's mattress pad, crib bedding and sleepwear are also organic. You can buy organic crib mattresses at Amazon, TheNaturalSleepStore, Non-toxic.com, or Nature'sCrib.com Mattress Wrapping Mattress wrapping is simply wrapping your existing crib mattress in a particular way with an impermeable cover (plastic) to minimize the toxic fumes that your baby comes in contact with. The cover keeps moisture from the baby out and toxic fumes in. It is certainly much less expensive that buying an organic mattress for up to $1000. Parents have been wrapping crib mattresses in New Zealand for the last twelve years thanks to aggressive public awareness campaigns and in that time their SIDS rate has dropped to one of the lowest in the world and there has never been a reported SIDS case on a properly wrapped mattress. Please read that again.
There has never been a single reported SIDS case on a properly wrapped mattress.Why isn't this common knowledge? Can you imagine the lawsuit if mattress manufacturers ever have to admit responsibility? Well, now you know and you should probably make a point of telling all of your pregnant friends. If you are going to use a crib with a non-organic mattress, then wrap it. You will probably have to import your mattress cover from overseas but its a small price to pay for not gambling on your baby's life. Learn more about mattress wrapping at: http://www.cotlife2000.com/ http://www.babysake.com/Howtowrap.htm http://www.healthychild.com/cribdeathcause.htm http://www.preventcribdeath.com/ Cosleeping The last option (and the least expensive) if you are interested in keeping your baby safe from SIDS is cosleeping. Odds are that your adult mattress is not organic either, but it contains more springs and frame than pure foam which is what contains the PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) used as flame retardants. (Please never cosleep with your baby if you are using a tempurpedic or memory foam mattress.) Other than reduced gases, cosleeping offers further protection against SIDS. Breastfeeding babies are a substantially reduced risk for SIDS, and cosleeping facilitates breastfeeding more than any other lifestyle choice. Breastfeeding newborns will also not assume a prone (tummy lying) position while sleeping next to their lactating mothers. Babies generally sleep on their sides or back for easy access to mom. Cosleeping mothers are also in a higher alert state during sleep so they are much more likely to respond to a baby in any sort of silent distress. Lastly, since a fear of fire seems to be the rationale for loading up crib mattresses with chemicals (by federal law mind you), then doesn't it make sense to keep the batteries in your smoke alarms fresh and sleep next to your child so you can carry them out of your home in the event of an emergency? If you are concerned about the myths surrounding cosleeping safety, then first keep in mind that there is a reason they call it "cot death" or "crib death" and not "sleeping next to mom death". One well publicized study which attempted to portray cosleeping as unsafe found 515 cosleeping deaths in an eight year period. While that may sound like a large number, it pales in comparison to the approximately 34,000 crib deaths that occurred in the US in the same time period. There are other SIDS risk factors such as having smoking parents (smokers exhale toxins when they breathe) and recent vaccinations. Knowing the risk factors and causes of SIDS, particularly the ones that are exceptionally easy to eliminate, is the first step parents can take to sleeping easy knowing your baby is safe. Learn more about cosleeping and SIDS at: http://www.babyreference.com/Cosleeping&SIDSFactSheet.htm Other SIDS death factors: http://www.healthychild.com/SIDS-crib-death-factors.htm Author: Sheryl Lyon Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/peasap/2561252071/