I am a thirty-five-year-old mother of two. In August last year, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She was fine during the first two weeks after birth, but at the beginning of third week, she felt sick, was treated and recovered completely. Unfortunately, three months later, she suddenly died. Two years later, it still pains me because I do not know what killed my baby since she passed away in her sleep, and we never suspected that there was anything wrong with her. Now I have another baby and everyday I live in fear of the same thing happening to him. What could have caused my baby’s death?
Most probably, your baby’s was a case of cot death. This is when healthy baby dies suddenly. Pre-mature and low-birth weight babies seem to be more at risk, while a large percentage of cot deaths happen between rhe ages of one and six months.
Unfortunately, cot deaths are still a mystery, what is fortunate is that there are known steps that a parent can take to reduce the risk of their babies succumbing to cot death.
Put your baby to sleep on bis back, not his front. A baby should not be placed on his side either, as he can easily roll onto his front. However, once your baby can turn over by himself, you can stop worrying much about his sleeping position.
Do not smoke or allow anyone to, anywhere near your baby. Research shows that if you smoke, your baby is four times more likely to due from cot death.
The third step is to watch your baby’s temperature. Babies are vulnerable to cold and it is important to keep them warm. Over-heating, -due to the room being too hot or the baby wearinh too many warm clothes or both, seems to be a factor in some cot deaths.
Whenever your baby is sleeping, always leave his head uncovered and of course, do not give him a pillow. Check him regularly too and adjust the bedding if he is too hot or too cold. If you suspect that your baby is unwell, contact your doctor immediately. Babies who have died from cot deaths are more likely to have been suffering a minor illness or infection compaeed to babies who are well.
Also, beware of the risk of fever, if your baby has a temperature (over 37.50 degrees C), or if he feels hot and sweaty, cover him with less bedding.
There is still some debate over whether bed sharing can cauae cot death. Some experts believe that sleeping with your baby may help prevent it while others are aganaist the practice.
Generally though, it is agreed that if you take your baby to bed fir a cuddle or a feed, take the precaution of putting him back in his cot before you fall asleep. Keep your baby in his cot by your bed for the first six months.
Losing a baby is painful experience. We hope that this information will be useful in letting you know you are doing all that you can to prevent it from happening again.