There has been research done on this, but like so many other things, there is just so much junk science. I'm not a scientist but my observation is that once kids can turn themselves over, they usually wind up on their bellies when they're sleeping.
SIDS is so devastating that parents will try anything to prevent it, and I don't blame them.
My doctor really never specified which way was best. When I was pregnant I read everything I could get my hands on so I felt pretty prepared.
One change I have seen from my parents generation to my generation of parents is the smother mother/helicopter parent. My parents loved us and gave us everything we needed and most of what we wanted but they never made us believe the world revolved around us or that we were owed anything. They also were pretty strict with us. My parents were not college-educated and although education was an important value in our family and we all went to private schools, my parents didn't really interfere with our teachers or what happened at school academically. What the teachers said was gold.
In general I think my generation of parents, at least in my experience, coddled our kids too much, didn't make them work very hard for the things they got, and seemed to feel that every thing that happened to their child needed to be a "peak" experience and anything that might hurt their self-esteem was to be avoided like the plague. There was a lot of keeping up with the Jones' in terms of birthday parties, vacations, sports activities and eventually cars and college choices. There was also a lot of interference with teachers and school rules.
There's been a lot of research on the kids that my generation have, well, generated, and it's not very positive. We've raised them to have some very unreal expectations about the world and not many coping skills, especially given today's economy and the very different social environment in which we grew up.
Even though I tried to avoid the parenting extremes that my contemporaries were practicing, my kids aren't immune. They are hard workers and good people, but they think money grows on trees and I have an orchard in my backyard. They all have good jobs but it makes me laugh when they talk about how stressed they are, or how they are so tired from working, they don't have time to do anything, etc. By the time I was their age I was married, working full-time, going to graduate school, dealing with one, then two, then three young children and taking care of a home. I still don't think they connect the dots and realize how much I had on my plate when I was their age.
He started working when he was 10 years old--as the DJ at Cosmic Bowling (in the place where his father was ran the pro shop). He progressed to bus boy there, then at a friends restaurant, then to Best Buy for his high school years, then got his dream job in IT right out of high school. At age 29, he's been working for 19 years! I think that's a disservice that some parents do to their kids these days. They don't want them to have jobs while in school. For my son, it was the best experience he could have had.
Also, from an early age he had to contribute to anything he wanted to purchase--we had the 2/3 rule; he paid 1/3 and we paid the rest (after the item was agreed upon.) Before he worked, he used any gift money he received.
Honestly, I only did it when they were brand-new newborns. Both of mine rolled over by themselves early, and even if I put them on their sides they didn't stay there. Pretty much they'd end up sprawled out on their backs.
[This message edited by inconnu at 11:45 AM, July 12th (Saturday)]
By the time my almost-18-year-old came along, back/side sleeping was recommended due to the SIDS correlation. I'm not sure it the AAP had yet formally made the recommendation, but I was instructed to position him on his back or side. Which I did, though he preferred his stomach and very quickly managed to get himself there on his own.
I didn't really devote a lot of thought to it; I did what was recommended based on evidence at the time. Based on the really dramatic change in SIDS incidence that has become evident over the years (which was not the case when my son was born and the recommendation was new and many skeptical), I would encourage parents to pay attention to the recommendation (as well as the recommendations regarding bedding and temperature). It's not a hard one to do, and it has effected a significant change.
I missed the changes in child-rearing part, too! I won't speculate on outcome, because the jury's still out. But my parents were not nearly as hands-on as my sibs and I--and their peers were not, either, particularly the men. I lived in a Don and Betty Draper world.
And I can see real differences between me and my older sibs, too. I don't think it would be wise to attribute them wholly to generational differences, as I think other psychosocial influences play in heavily.
I don't really see the same correlation between my generation's parenting and entitlement and other Millennial Kid issues as some others do, but this may be because I grew up in an affluent area where entitlement is nothing new, and raised my kids with far less privilege than I experienced growing up.
I know I had no more sense if what the real world would demand as a young adult as my kids do. I think it's a developmental stage rather than a negative shift in attitude--a stage we tend to forget we passed through, even if on a different time table. (I would argue that college and postgrad education prolong adolescence in this sense--so my just-graduated daughter can't really be compared to me at the same age; she is not in the same place.)
I think, too, that beyond nature--that with which we are born or for which we have a predisposition-- and nurture--the conscious and unconscious things we do as parents--there's a whole lot of shit happens that hugely influences child development. My older siblings, for example, entered the work force at a time when the economy was vastly different from when I did; that conferred lasting advantages. Then there are things like health crises, extended families, community differences, etc that have a huge impact.
Our kids are individuals in a world that hugely different for different people. Our input is crucial--but only a piece of the puzzle. And thank God for that, because if that weren't the case, few of us would be up to the task!
[This message edited by solus sto at 1:06 PM, July 12th (Saturday)]
We had the three younger children after the conventional wisdom changed and we were told to put them on their backs. But I noticed that they did not sleep on their backs. They would wake up every couple of hours so I would put them on their stomachs and they would sleep all night. Once they started rolling over it didn't matter how you put them down. I really wonder what kid of studies are done to determine how sleep position is related to SIDS. I really think it is a case of correlation not causation.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - Aubrie
They all slept on their stomachs. It is just what was done. I don't remember anyone telling me to, I just *knew* that's what you did.
When my youngest was born, I believe they were starting to suggest *side sleeping*... but I still did the stomach sleeping.
I do believe the stats that SIDS deaths have decreased since the back-to-sleep campaign. However, I think that proves that lot of SIDS deaths were misdiagnosed - they were really suffocation/other reasons and not truly SIDS.
I do child care - there are lots of changes. I like to believe we are smarter now, thus the changes makes sense. My kids were fine in side-sliding cribs. They are not outlawed. Yes, I kinda roll my eyes at this stuff, but I will not take safety for granted. Again, we are smarter now, right?
I placed my DS on his belly because the conventional wisdom at the time (1985) was that it would help prevent SIDS.
My first baby was born in 1984 and I did the same, for the same reasons. However, as was also conventional in the UK, I spent several days in hospital after the birth. It was a very enlightened maternity unit in a teaching hospital. And I noticed that whenever the nurses put my baby in his crib, they would put him on his side, using a cloth or blanket behind him. Though I said nothing, I found it puzzling and a little irritating, because I believed, of course, that he was that he was safer on his tummy.
Within only a few years came the news that there was a connection between sleeping prone and SIDS and the conventional wisdom changed. I recalled what my maternity nurses had done and realized that, as professionals, they probably knew about the research and started acting on it long before it was widely publicized and the advice to new mothers changed. And my lovely maternity nurses went up even higher in my estimation!
Baby advice is often cyclical. My mother was very anxious when she saw my baby on his front, because babies were always placed on backs when she had her babies - back in the fifties! When my babies were born, most UK mothers still used cloth diapers. Then things changed and everyone used disposable ones. Now the wheel has turned again and I gather that the greenest mothers are returning to the cloth.
My mother breastfed her children. For economic reasons, because in the fifties in the UK, it was only the wealthier women who could afford to bottle feed their babies. (I'm glad my mother wasn't wealthy!) I don't know the history here in the USA. When I had my babies in the eighties, most mothers who'd had good jobs opted to breastfeed. Nowadays, they still do, but since most return to work, I think they do it for less time, because using formula is obviously much more convenient than pumping. (And here, I have to give a congratulatory pat on the back to She11ybeanz! I remember being amazed and VERY impressed when I read in one of her posts of how many months she had continued to "pump", once she'd returned to work.)
[This message edited by Cally60 at 9:51 PM, July 12th (Saturday)]
Do you mean changes in professionals or how others raise their kids?
What doesn't kill me, scars me.
"A good man with good intentions has no reason to lie" - somer222
That seems to be common in healthcare. Advice seems to flip flop. Eggs are OK, no they're not, now they are. Butter is bad; margarine is good. Margarine is bad; butter is OK.
The band Genesis wrote a song that touches on that. "Living Forever"
Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. I can do this.
I usually ended up looking for alternative sleeping arrangements, i.e. the couch, while they happily snuggled up with their mom, who really was an awesome mom at this point in their lives...
It's crazy, we had a waterbed, the ex was always a really sound sleeper - I'm amazed she didn't suffocate them all. But they were all really big babies, so maybe that had something to do with it.
Who knows... I think it's just horrendously, tragically bad luck when a baby dies of SIDS. My boss had that happen and I don't know how she ever recovered, but she did.
If babies were really as delicate as some would believe, our world population would not be as large as it is. There is no "right" way to do things. I was fed cereal through an enlarged hole in the bottle nipple when I was just a few weeks old - so as to help me sleep all night. I got a little whiskey rubbed on my gums when I was teething. I got a switch to the legs when I misbehaved. I seem to have survived it so far.