casting doubt on SIDS

the manny says i should blog about this: neither of us believe in SIDS

SIDS is sudden infant death syndrome, all kids of definitions can be found out there

there are more than a few skeptics. says Dr. Mason:

Pediatricians may have been making a tragic mistake all these years. Waneta Hoyt was convicted of five counts of murder in 1995 for the deaths of her children. Dr. Jerold Lucey, editor of Pediatrics in 1972, now states, "We should never have published this article. . . . [S]ome physicians still believe SIDS runs in families. It doesn't—murder does." Some new studies estimate that 5-30% of SIDS cases are actually homicides. Because of the sporadic nature of SIDS, I doubt that anyone will ever know how many SIDS cases are actually more sinister.

But most skeptics like Roy Meadow link some cases of SIDS directly to murder. (it is too weird to get into here, but basically he said that parents would kill their babies for the attention and sympathy of the medical community aka MSbP)

The manny and i do not go that far, not even close. but as pretty dedicated attachment parents, we think that neglect, baby training and sheer ignorance is enough to kill a child.

example #1 (ignorance): the lactation consultant at my hospital says a number of new parents wonder why their newborns aren't gaining weight even though he/she has been taking three meals a day. newborns need 8-10 meals because their stomachs are so small. they will starve with so few meals.

example #2 (baby training) Ferberization, where a baby is left to "cry it out" is a widely applied parenting strategy, never mind that it has been recanted. it is also laregly misunderstood as an approach that advocates leaving the baby alone for longer and longer periods of time at night, regardless of their reaction, at any age. combine this with daytime parenting beliefs that holding a baby will somehow hurt or spoil it, and that doesn't leave any window for real human interaction between parent and child. i think that if my early days were this way, i would choose to die. doctors show that something changes in the brain of a SIDS victim that is visible by autopsy. maybe they have willed their own death because their lives are so miserably alone.

example #3(neglect) SIDS has been cut by 50% by having babies sleep on their back, so obviously suffocation has been a factor. next to go: those big padded crib bumpers...

i hope i get some comments on this


Mom101 said...

Bed rest during pregnancy has one troubling side effect and that's the compulsion to google anything and everything about babies. During my home confinement, I found a major NZ study that explains why back to sleep works: it's not a suffocation issue, it's bacteria in older mattresses that, when wet (drool, urine, etc) turn into toxic gas that essentially poison children who sleep mouths to mattress.

Here's one link if you're interested:


good luck with the debate!

jess said...

yeah, never heard of that one before mom101, but seems believable. there is some pretty nasty stuff in a conventional mattress.

so true about compulsive googling too...there are so many side effects of pregnancy that we never get warned about, right?

Daddy D said...

I was and still am worried about SIDS though...I mean, those first few nights (months) home were a lot of going in and checking to be sure the baby is on her back and is still breathing. To this day i go into her room before work to "check on her". It's scary regardless of the reasons that go with it.

- Jon
- Daddy Detective
- www.daddydetective.com

jess said...

i feel you. the sweetest boy was such a noisy breather that it left little doubt for us that he was breathing, but regardless, the idea of losing your child is terrifying. i just think that good parents can take a bit more ownership of their good *fortune* that their baby was not taken by sids