This week started with tears. Lots of tears. At 10:00 on Monday morning while Reuben was having his nap, I’d got everything ready for his day with Grandma and Grandad so I decided to indulge in some twitter time. My little twitter community that I follow had been shaken by the death of Mum blogger, Jennie Edspires, little girl, Matilda Mae, the day before from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I clicked onto Jennie’s twitter feed, where she had been explaining what happened and how she was feeling. I feel like I have no right, I didn’t know her, but I wept for her loss. She had JUST lost her baby and I had never seen such open grief as it was happening, right now. I could feel her pain, I could imagine it, and although she didn’t know, I cried with her. I ran down the stairs to scoop up my baby, who was quietly looking around his room, chatting to himself.

Matilda Mae was 9 months old on the day she died, she was regularly checked and slept in her mum and dad’s room. She had learnt to crawl that day and managed to crawl under her bedding and either couldn’t breath or overheated*. I don’t see how they could have prevented it.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

The FSID’s guide to preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

How to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

I don’t tell you this now to upset you but more because I have skirted around the issues of cot death. It does no one any good to pretend that it doesn’t happen, especially as I have a boy (the ratio of cot death is 2:1 for boys verses girls). I want to urge you to please, please read these guidelines by FSID, even if you have read them before, just to remind yourself and pass it onto anyone who looks after your child.

The Scottish Cot Death Trust is also an excellent resource for new and expectant parents to help them prevent cot death. This page in particular gives advice about bedding.

Both guides are anti co-sleeping. However, if you are co-sleeping, you can read the guidelines of how to do this safely from a book I was given by my health visitor.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Caring for your baby at night – a guide for parents by Unicef

Jennie hasn’t been far from my thoughts since Monday and it’s fair to say that I am now a lot more worried about Reuben. I’ve removed the soft toy (that he can’t reach or grab as he has his hands covered) from his bed, we’re going to move his cot away from the radiator, which is at the end of the cot, and the curtains which are next to his cot, etc. I don’t want to make you neurotic either (although, that is the natural state of a mother) so I leave you with a quote from the FSID guidelines…

“remember that cot death is rare;

so please don’t let worrying about it stop you enjoying your baby’s first few months”.

 

* please note that I have not linked to either Jennie’s Twitter feed or her blog. Rightly or wrongly, and I don’t mean to patronise but I have actively chosen to do this as I don’t like it when other people tell me things that will upset me when I am trying to avoid it (I particularly did this during pregnancy as I was focusing all my efforts on staying positive and healthy for my baby). If you do want to find her please look for @edspires on twitter but please be aware (especially if you are a new mum or pregnant), as you can imagine, her story is extremely traumatic.