View Full Version : Any solution in sight to cot deaths?

Jun 22, 2010, 08:46 AM
A young couple recently lost their pretty child in very accidental circumstance.according to the mum,she fed the baby,placed it on the cot while she went unto her own bed to sleep off.three hours later,she roused from sleep wondering why the under-60 days kid had not cried for milk.she found it face down,turned it around...the baby sighed twice and passed on,just like that!:eek:i asked a doctor why death could be that wicked and whether it was not better for the mum to lay the baby by her side on her bed.he replied that there had been documented cases of mums who accidentally crushed their own babies in their sleep!so,how to prevent cot deaths...any ideas?any doctor in the village,particularly a paediatrician?

Jun 22, 2010, 01:12 PM
Agens found this piece on cot death hope it helps. If it isn't happening in Nigeria already, we should borrow a leaf from the British example here and launch a campaign to educate women on how to prevent it. Maybe as part of antenatal process in our hospitals.

Reducing the Risk of Cot Death

The cause of cot death is not known. However, you can reduce the risk of cot death by the measures detailed below. The most important are to lie your baby on his or her back to sleep (not on their front or side), and to create a smoke-free zone for your baby.

What is cot death and how common is it?

Cot death (sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS) is when a baby dies suddenly for no known reason.

Cot death is uncommon. About 1 in 2000 babies die due to cot death in the UK. That is, about 250 babies a year in the UK. Most cases occur in babies under the age of five months. However, the number of cases in the UK has fallen sharply since the introduction of the 'Reduce the Risk' campaign in 1991. (In 1990 more than 3 in 1000 babies died of cot death.) This campaign was launched because research showed that the fashion at the time for placing babies to sleep on their front increased the risk of a cot death. The campaign has resulted in most parents now knowing that the safest position for a young baby to sleep is on their back.

In addition to the sleeping position, other factors can reduce the risk of a cot death. These are detailed below.
What can I do to reduce the risk of cot death?

Research has shown that the risk of cot death can be reduced. The things you can do fall into four main categories.
Sleeping - learn the best way for your baby to sleep.
Smoking - create a smoke-free home for your baby.
Symptoms of illness -see a doctor if your baby appears unwell.
Consider breastfeeding.


The best way for your baby to sleep is as follows. Make sure that any childminders or babysitters know this too.

Lie your baby on their back to sleep
In other words, do not lie him or her on their front or side. Cot death is less common in babies who sleep on their back. Also, there is no evidence that babies who sleep on their back will choke. (This unfounded worry was why it was common to put babies on their front in the past.) It is important to put babies on their backs for day-time naps and any other times of sleep, in addition to the longer night-time sleep.

When your baby is aged about 5-6 months they will normally start to be able to roll over. At first, if you find that your baby has rolled over onto their front, then turn them back onto their back. However, you do not need to keep on checking in the night. Soon, they will be able to roll over and back again on their own and, like adults, they will toss and turn in their sleep. When they can do this it is fine for your baby to find their own position to sleep. The risk of cot death falls sharply at this age and it is safe for them to sleep in whatever position they like.


Do not use a pillow - just use a firm mattress that fits well into the cot, covered with a sheet. To cover your baby use layers of sheets and thin blankets rather than duvets, loose covers or a 'baby nest'. Do this at least until the baby is a year old. Duvets and loose covers are more likely to cover a baby's face. Also, using several thin layers allows you to put on or take off layers depending on the room temperature.

Do not place soft materials or objects such as pillows, quilts, comforters, or sheepskins under a sleeping baby. Also keep stuffed toys and other soft objects out of the cot. If you use bumper pads in a cot they should be thin, firm, well secured, and not 'pillow-like'.

Cover your baby up to their chest and shoulders only
The head must be left uncovered. Tuck sheets and blankets under the sides of the mattress to stop them riding up onto the face. Some parents prefer not to use any sheets or blankets. They use 'sleep sacks' that are designed to keep the baby warm without the possible hazard of the head being covered in the night.
Lie you baby 'feet to foot'
That is, the baby's feet should be just touching the foot of the cot. This means they cannot slip further down the cot under the sheets or blankets.


Babies need to be warm, but not too warm. Being too warm increases the risk of cot death. Have the room at a temperature that is comfortable for you. If your baby is sweating or feels hot then they are too warm. Do not place a baby's cot next to a heater or radiator, or in direct sunlight. Also, do not use hot water bottles, electric blankets, etc.
When you sleep, share a room with your baby - but not your bed
A cot or crib next to your bed is the best place for your baby to sleep until they are at least six months' old.

It is best not to share a bed with your baby when you sleep. There is a risk that you might roll over onto your baby when you are asleep, or your baby may get trapped under the bedclothes. Obviously, it is normal to feed and cuddle your baby when you are resting in bed but awake. However, when it is time for you to sleep, the best place for your baby is in a cot next to your bed. In particular, there is an increased risk when bedsharing if:

Your baby is was born premature, had a low birthweight, or is less than three months old.
You or your partner are a smoker (even if you do not smoke in the home).
You are very tired or you are taking medication that can make you drowsy.
You have taken any alcohol or drugs.

Offer your baby a dummy when it is time to sleep

Research studies have shown that the use of a dummy can reduce the risk of cot death. It is not clear how, but it seems to help. Therefore, consider offering your baby a dummy at the start of each episode of sleep. However, if you breastfeed, do not start to use a dummy until you are well established with breastfeeding. This is normally when the baby is about one month old. Also, it is common to stop using a dummy when the baby is about 6-12 months old as prolonged use of a dummy may possibly lead to dental and/or speech problems.

However, do not force a dummy on a baby who does not want one. If the dummy falls out when a baby is asleep, just leave it out. Also, never coat a dummy with anything such as sweet liquids or sugar. Clean and replace dummies regularly.
Do not fall asleep with your baby on a sofa, armchair, settee, etc.
This has been shown to increase the risk of cot death.


Create a smoke-free area around your baby. Cigarette smoke is a main 'risk factor' for cot death. Do not let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby. Smoking whilst pregnant also increases the risk of your baby having a cot death. The greater the number of cigarettes smoked per day whilst pregnant, the greater the risk. If at all possible, do not smoke when you are pregnant. Your practice nurse, GP or midwife can give you advice and help if you want to stop smoking but are finding it difficult.

Most cot deaths occur 'out of the blue' when the child is asleep. There are usually no symptoms to alert parents or carers that anything is wrong. However, sometimes an illness is not recognised and quickly gets worse. See a doctor if your baby appears unwell. Use your instincts - you know best if something is not right. The list below is also a guide to the main symptoms to look out for:
Vomiting, especially bile (green) vomit.
Takes less fluids (milk feed) and/or makes less urine than usual.
High pitched or unusual cry.
Drowsiness, floppiness or less responsive than usual.
Wheezy, grunting, fast or difficult breathing.
High fever or sweating a lot.
Looks pale or blue.
Blood in the nappies.
Immunisation protects against serious illness. Babies who are fully immunised are less at risk of cot death.


Research studies have shown that breastfed babies have a reduced risk of cot death compared to formula fed babies. This may be partly explained by the fact that breastfed babies, on average, have less illnesses compared to formula fed babies. But there may be other factors. Breastfeeding also provides other advantages to both baby and mother.
Enjoy your baby

Cot death is uncommon and becomes rare after the age of five months - about the time when babies are able to roll over and move a bit. Don't let the worry of cot death spoil the precious time of getting to know your baby. But, the measures listed above reduce the small risk of cot death even further. Perhaps the most important thing is simply to remember to put your baby on their back when you place them down to sleep.

Jun 23, 2010, 03:48 PM
God bless you for the above.in addition,i think vigilance must also come into it because as you can see from the story,the baby rolled over unto its face.

Jul 18, 2010, 11:02 AM
Also, make sure that a baby burps before they are put down in the crib especially after those late night to early morning feedings that are done in a half sleep/wake state.

Jul 21, 2010, 10:39 PM

Put the Baby on a fcukin' MAT for goodness sakes!

[and a .37 Magnum for protection from harry porter]

There, you'd be guaranteed: no "cot deaths"...DUH!