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CDC says progress on SIDS has stalled, points to solutions every parent should know

Many of the 3,500 annual SIDS deaths in the U.S. are preventable.

CDC says progress on SIDS has stalled, points to solutions every parent should know

Just the thought of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) strikes fear into the hearts of parents—and we’re all willing to do what it takes to lower the risks in our own homes. But officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now say mixed messages about the safest ways for babies to sleep have caused progress against SIDS to stall.


“Unfortunately, too many babies in this country are lost to sleep-related deaths that might be prevented,” says CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “We must do more to ensure every family knows the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations: babies should sleep on their backs, without any toys or soft bedding and in their own crib. Parents are encouraged to share a room with the baby, but not the same bed. These strategies will help reduce the risk and protect our babies from harm.”

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According to the CDC, approximately 3,500 American babies dies from SIDS, accidental suffocation or another unknown cause during sleep. These numbers are down the from 1990s before the “Back to Sleep” campaign began, but have plateaued in recent years.

The latest Vital Signs report from the CDC, based on survey data from 2015, sheds some light on why this may be:

  • 22% of mothers report placing babies to sleep on their side or stomaches
  • 61% of mothers report some bed-sharing with their babies
  • 38% of mothers report using some soft bedding such as blankets in their infants’ sleep areas

As a previous CDC report showed, 20% of moms didn’t get any advice on the safest sleep practices and 25% actually got inaccurate advice.

Notably, the statistics on safe practices vary from state to state (Louisiana is the worst) and among different ethnicity groups or education levels—indicating that public health officials could do a better job at sending clear messages.

“This report shows that we need to do better at promoting and following safe sleep recommendations,” says Jennifer Bombard, M.S.P.H., scientist in CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health and lead author of the analysis. “This is particularly important for populations where data show infants may be at a higher risk of sleep-related deaths.”

Here are the formal recommendations for safe infant sleep practices from the AAP:

  • Always place baby to sleep on his back
  • Use a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved mattress and crib
  • Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the baby’s sleep area
  • Share a room, not a bed

Straightforward as the recommendations may seem, the CDC report proves they have the power to save lives.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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What you need to know about President Trump's Supreme Court pick

The President has reportedly selected his third SCOTUS nominee.

President Donald Trump has chosen his third pick for the Supreme Court—and he picked a mom.

The New York Times reports President Trump is choosing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee. An official statement is scheduled for Saturday.

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