Baby Got Back?

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Back to sleep…

Back is best…

Onesies with the message “This side up” printed on the front…

Safe to Sleep and Back-to-Sleep are very real campaigns that were started to educate parents on the importance of putting your babies in the supine position (on their back) at the beginning of every nap or sleep, to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

This is a very serious concern and no laughing matter.

As a matter of fact, my husband and I didn’t sleep for the 1st two years of my daughter’s life, in fear that while we did, something would happen to her.  We’d nudge each other multiple times a night to run into the other room to make sure she was sleeping and still breathing.  Who am I kidding?  I still check to make sure she’s breathing now when she sleeps.

However…

the very funny reality of placing your baby on its back every time you put them down to sleep is that they can end up wearing away the hair on the sides and in the back of their head –

not all of it, mind you, just a comical band of missing hair,

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and end up with a flat head!

 

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There is a way to avoid the balding-old-man-who’s-been-hit-in-the-back-of-the-head-with-a-frying-pan look…

and I only learned of this because a very astute and hilarious student during our prenatal classes asked our instructor how to avoid having his baby look like his neighbor’s, who apparently looked like he’d been sleeping on a flat board since the day he’d been born!

So,

  1.  Make sure you have a mobile over the crib.  This will interest your baby and they will move their head from the position in which you laid them down, so that they can get a better look at it.
  2. Keep rotating the direction in which you put them to sleep in the crib…feet to the left of the crib, feet to the right of the crib, so that they keep moving their head in different directions to look at their mobile. This will “round out” their heads, as they will be spending equal amounts of time lying on either side of their little heads!
  3. Super-important…tummy time!  Follow your doctor’s instructions on how often and for how long, as it may be different than when I was instructed.  But, if you aren’t sure, have your infant spend a minimum of 1 hour per day on their tummy.  Do this in 15 minute increments, as this is considered “exercise” for the baby (it’s a lot of work for them to try to hold themselves up on their forearms, and for their necks!) and wears them out.  I would usually do this after she ate and then get her ready for her nap.

and here’s a little more info on avoiding flat head syndrome

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