Random thoughts on SIDS
SIDS = Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Lots of theories surround this syndrome. Most of them infants sleeping too deeply and not waking up.
ALTE = A Life Threatening Event. Again, lots of theories and causes, but basically baby stops breathing and it can lead to SIDS if intervention does not occur in time.
I recently heard a very, very sad SIDS story involving a toddler a little older than my son is. I cannot even begin to imagine the depths of the grief that those parents and their family went through. It also scared me silly and brought back the awful memories of Nathan’s ALTE episode he had due to reflux around 2 months of age. For many, many months following Nathan’s ALTE epidsode, I was borderline neurotic about checking him constantly while he slept. I kept him by my bed for like 5-6 months. After that, I would check on him several times a night due to my deep fear and anxiety of SIDS. In my mind, I would rather check on him 1,000 times too many than 1 time not enough. Absolutely nothing, not even a basic need for sleep, could come in the way of needing to check on my precious, sleeping baby.
Anyhow, it got me thinking about an invention that could help reduce the risk of SIDS. I was thinking of a machine. It would be rigged to the crib mattress with a motion sensing mat under the sleeping baby. It would be sensitive enough to pick up slight breathing movements/vibrations. If a certain length of time goes by that it does not detect movement, it could deliver a very gentle vibration to shake the crib mattress and hopefully stir the baby from too deep of sleep, but not enough to wake the baby up completely. It could deliver a series of vibrations of increasing strength until it again detects some breathing or movement from the baby. If it does not detect movement, it could then set off an audible alarm for parents to check on their baby.
I don’t know why they do not have something like this on the market. I recall asking for a SIDS monitor following Nathan’s episode. However, the doctor said that most babies do have normal, non-threatening pauses in their breathing and the alarm will go off every time this happens and cause their parents unnecessary grief. So my thinking is that this monitor would bypass this and solve the problem of false alarms. It seems like a much smarter design that the ones on the market. I hope someone comes up with something like this and that it helps prevent some future SIDS episodes.