Menu

Text messages for parents actually help keep newborns safer, study finds

Your phone can be a secret weapon in keeping baby safe. ?

Text messages for parents actually help keep newborns safer, study finds

Modern moms know smartphones are portals to all kinds of parenting advice, but in the earliest days, that’s kind of the problem. When you come home from the hospital, Googling your questions can net a nearly infinite number of sometimes contradictory answers that are often more anecdotal than expert. Wouldn’t it be nice if the real experts just texted us?


Well, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association experimented with that very concept—and the results proved that when moms get informative texts at critical times, babies benefit.

Researchers at the Yale, the University of Virginia and Boston University looked at using text- and email-based educational interventions to deliver information on safe sleep practices and breastfeeding to new parents. They also tested a complimentary program where nurses educated parents before they left the hospital.

FEATURED VIDEO

The findings indicate that having nurses teach parents about safe sleep practices before they left the hospital didn’t make parents any more likely to actually adhere to those suggestions. However, parents did follow the best safety practices with newborns upon going home when they received follow-up videos and information.

“A lot of parents can be overwhelmed when caring for a new baby, partly because they are not sure what to do or get different advice from different people,” Fern Hauck of the UVA School of Medicine, said in a media release. “We think that the videos and support that we provided in the texts and emails helped to give parents the information that they needed when they needed it and also addressed common concerns many parents have.”

The moms got the messages for two months postpartum at times when they were most likely to have questions about safe sleep and nursing.

“For instance, many parents worry about their baby choking when they’re on the back. Therefore, we sent them a video showing them that this is not true,” said Rachel Moon, of the UVA School of Medicine, explained in the media release.

For the first 11 days, the moms got a text every day. As they got the hang of parenting a newborn, the frequency of texts dropped to one every three or four days.

About 1,200 new moms from 16 U.S. hospitals benefited from the text and email campaign. And while researchers aren’t sure such a program could feasibly be rolled out on a more widespread basis, they’d like to try.

“We’re hoping to expand this study to larger groups of mothers, particularly those who are higher risk, to better understand what types of messages work the best, and what the best timing is for these messages,” says Hauck.

We’ll have to wait and see if one day all moms can benefit from this kind of postpartum text education. In the meantime, the researchers suggest new parents pay close attention to those low-tech lessons from the maternity ward nurses: Their advice really does work as long as sleep-deprived parents can remember it after going home from the hospital.

In This Article

    Nuna

    New mama life is often fraught with decision fatigue. From choosing a pediatrician to choosing a baby monitor, it can be difficult to know which solutions are made to last. Fortunately, Nuna just made one very important decision a lot easier. That's because their new MIXX Next Stroller has everything a new parent needs to get out, get around and get everything done.

    An upgraded version of their popular MIXX stroller, the MIXX Next features a more compact fold (shaving 6.5 inches off the folded size, down to 27.5 inches long and 23.6 inches wide) thanks to a compact fold-away axle where the rear wheels tuck under the frame when it folds. Plus, the new model also stays standing when folded—meaning no more back-straining as you bend to pick up your folded stroller and heave it into the trunk. Instead, the MIXX Next can be tucked more easily into storage whenever your ride comes to an end.


    Nuna Mixx Next Stroller


    Speaking of the ride, your little one will love the new rear-wheel Free Flex suspension™ and front-wheel progression suspension technology that absorbs more shock as you roll over uneven terrain. The wheels have also been updated to tough, rubber foam-filled tires for a smoother, more durable ride and the no re-thread harness makes it easy to clip your baby in securely and quickly. And when all those gentle bumps lull your baby to sleep? The seat features a five-position recline that adjusts quickly with one-hand—all the way down to a true-flat sleeper recline—just don't forget to move them to their crib when you arrive home. (Don't forget to extend the water repellent, UPF 50+ canopy to keep those sleepy eyes shaded.) Even better, the all-season seat keeps baby cozy in winter and unsnaps to mesh for a cooler ride in the summer.

    Perhaps most importantly, though, this stroller is made to last. (After all, what's the point of solving a mama dilemma if it creates another one a few months down the road?) The MIXX Next pairs perfectly with all Nuna PIPA™ series infant car seats using the included car seat ring adapter, and then adapts to a child seat that can face toward you (for a little face time) or forward for when your little one is ready to take on the world. All in all, this stroller gets you where you need to go with a child up to 50 pounds, meaning it's the only one you'll ever need.

    The MIXX Next is available in three colors and retails for $749.95.

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

    Our Partners

    Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

    Thank you for understanding. ❤️

    In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

    Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

    Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

    FEATURED VIDEO

    I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

    Keep reading Show less
    Life

    100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

    From Adelia to Ziggy.

    Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

    Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

    Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


    Keep reading Show less
    Learn + Play