Sunday, April 22, 2012

20 min and $20 can save a baby's life

New Zealand did a campaign (beginning in 1998) to encourage parents to wrap their baby mattresses. If you look at this link, there’s about 8 facts that show the history of their campaign: (

Over 190,000 babies sleep on wrapped mattresses in New Zealand.  There have been 0 deaths in of babies sleeping on a wrapped mattresses.  In other words, for over 10 years, wrapping mattresses has been 100% effective in saving babies from SIDS. 

If you research SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) you’ll find that some experts say that breastfeeding and sleeping with your baby helps prevent it, other experts say it increases the likelihood.  In 1994, the American Academy of Pediatric launched a campaign to encourage parents to have babies sleep on their backs.  The response to that was a dramatic drop in SIDS deaths.  But they didn’t go away.  If you look at a graph showing the drop of SIDS, you’ll see that while it dropped in response to back sleeping, it has leveled off.  Deaths from SIDS have not decreased since 2001 ( 

There are still approximately 2000 babies that die in the US every year due to SIDS.  It is the leading cause of death for babies under one year and typically occurs between 2 and 4 months of age.  So babies sleeping on their back helps, but there must be some other reason. I believe that it is the foam and fire retardant chemicals that slowly off gas and break down coming from the mattress.  Older babies usually are fine because their lungs are more developed.

There is something we do which is not mainstream but totally easy, cheap and potentially life-saving.  It can be done in 20 minutes and never have to be done again and will provide protection for your sweet babies for the entire time they sleep on their baby mattresses.

My posts about it including how to wrap a mattress:
So maybe you are on the fence about the validity of this. I know I'm a bit on the passionate side...  But really, what's the harm?  It's $20 (less if you split a roll of plastic with someone) and takes so little time.  We buy baby monitors, plug protectors and set up baby gates over stairs.  We protect our babies from what's obvious.  Why not protect them from something not so obvious?

Love, Carra


Emily Neill said...

Could I wrap the crib mattress in the plastic from the hardware store like you did your bigger mattresses or do I need to buy a special crib mattress cover? The specific covers are about $40 each (from bebesafe) and I have a cradle, 2 pack and plays, and 2 crib mattresses to wrap. Yay twins, twice as much stuff! What do I need to look for when purchasing the plastic?

Carra said...

You just need a roll of polyethylene plastic sheeting (about $60 at Lowes) that is at least 5 mil. Wrap the mattress like a present and use packing tape to seal the corners. Cut a few holes in the bottom to let it "breathe" and you are set. I wrapped our co-sleeper mattress, pack n play, crib etc. Now even at almost 8 & 5 (can you believe it?) Gracie and Faith still sleep on wrapped mattresses. BTW Your babies are gorgeous!