A section from Miriam's Baby Wisom Book: https://www.safetsleep.com/products/baby-wisdom-book?variant=19770021061
‘Back sleeping’ is currently recommended by Ministries of Health as ‘herd principle’ on a mandate to reach the highest known risk group. It is not illegal or unintelligent to place babies slightly on their side or as otherwise recommended by Health Professionals especially when using a Sleepwrap to help ensure safe, varied sleep positions.
With the current recommendations to position baby on the back to sleep, the chances of baby sleeping constantly with the head in a ‘preferred spot’ and not turning side to the side is increased. This unvaried sleep position can lead to flat, misshapen heads.
Despite all efforts, and contrary to common advice, not all babies’ heads come back to a nice shape; sometimes needing intervention and surgery.
For thousands of years women of all ages and cultures have been taught and ‘know’ that the younger the baby the softer the head.
By turning a young baby’s head from side to side at each sleep and/or varying the sleep position from back to alternate sides you will help prevent the likely problems of ‘flat head’ or misshapen heads (Positional Plagiocephaly).
Some babies do respond by physically repositioning their head on alternate sides at each sleep but many do not, for a variety of reasons including a tight neck muscle (torticollis). Babies with torticollis are often helped by Cranio Osteopaths. The placement of bright little toys at alternate sides and/or turning the cot/crib do go some way toward encouraging head turning; however a significant percentage of babies do not respond and insist on preferring the same spot.
When the Sleepwrap babywrap is used in conjunction with the little Safe T Sleep MULTIwedge tucked well underneath the Sleepwrap, back sleeping babies can be assisted to maintain alternate head positions, which thereby reduces the risk of misshapen heads. With the Independently, Clinically Proven Sleepwrap it is also entirely possible to safely position baby on the side with their underarm forward and some mum’s place the little MULTIwedge snugly into baby’s back.
It is therefore possible to have a safe baby plus a baby with a nicely shaped head. After all who doesn’t want that for their precious baby? A baby with an unusually shaped head or one who needs a therapeutic polystyrene helmet (no matter how funky) is not the picture every parent would desire to put in their baby album. It could also be limiting for the child if in the future your offspring wanted to audition for the lead role in a James Bond movie!
According to myriad globally published studies approximately up to 40% of all flat misshapen heads do not return to a nice shape, and over 4% globally need surgery! This surgery is very invasive. The statistics are alarming.
As you are reading this, babies are being fitted with polystyrene helmets in hospitals throughout the so-called ‘developed’ world. These helmets need to be worn 23 hours of a 24 hour day, and often cause discomfort, lack of sleep and in some cases pressure points; not to mention unnecessary trauma and distress for both baby and parents. ‘Flat heads’ are almost always entirely preventable by comfortable alternating ‘positioning’.
See http://bit.do/SafeTSleep-FlatHeads and choose wisely, choose safety and comfort for your baby.
The younger the baby, the softer the head. Prevention is kinder than cure.
Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap + MULTIwedge = a safer sleeping baby plus a lovely shaped head for your baby.
Although designed for preventative purposes, the little Safe T Sleep MULTIwedge, used together with the Sleepwrap can, and has, helped correct babies' flat, misshapen heads.
Of course, prevention is kinder than cure and, when the above combo is used from a young age, it is very unlikely that problems will occur.
When the little MULTIwedge is tucked well underneath the Sleepwrap it indicates which side the baby's head was turned to for the last sleep. The next time baby goes to sleep it can be placed on the other side to alternate the head position.
Although designed for preventative purposes, the Safe T Sleep MULTIwedge, used together with the Sleepwrap can, and has, helped to correct baby’s flat, misshapen heads.
Out of 54 babies (aged between 6-15 months) referred to us via hospital cranio-facial plastic surgery clinics over a three year period who were scheduled for helmet therapy (and two for surgery), only one still needed surgery. We worked hard with the mums on a voluntary basis repositioning their babies often needing to use various safe props and techniques until we achieved our desired goal.
Testimonials for ensuring a nice head shape:
'Madison is now 10 months old and her head shape is so improved no one can believe the speed with which it improved. Tristan de Chalain at Middlemore Hospital Plagiocephaly Clinic has now discharged her, since she is symmetrical again. I will still keep her on her side all the time when I can but she can now roll over and likes her tummy during the day sleeps.
The whole situation was so stressful for me, and I got very down about it thinking she would never come right. Thank you so much for all your help and support and thank you for Safe T Sleep, without which Madison would look like a book-end forever.
I will be promoting it wherever and whenever I can.
With a wilful child like Madison, my success came by using the STS with 4 rolled up towels to hold her on her side. I never liked the safety pin, as you know, but I didn’t need it if I used the towels. I still use this method now and will for a while longer.
Thank you so much again for everything. I don’t know if I would have had nearly as much success without your support. I hope we can meet again as I sincerely would like to be involved with helping people with the ‘flat-head’ problem, and the Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap is the ‘key’ to curing it.
Anna Pearce-Montgomerie (and Madison Montgomerie)
I am writing to share my experiences with using your Sleepwrap. My son was developing a flat spot on his head. No matter which way we placed him in his cot/crib he would turn his heat to the one favoured side .As a last resort we tried the Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap. I say last resort because he was a good sleeper and I was afraid he would fight the restriction and wake up during the night. Much to my delight, our son continued to sleep through the night ― and within a few months the flat spot was corrected; he now has a normal shaped head and is happy to lie on either side .My nephew developed a severe flat spot and in the end he wore a helmet to correctly; I was relieved to be able to reshape our son’s head without having to resort to such drastic measures.
I hope you are encouraged by our story; we as parents considered the Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap a lifesaver.
As a Senior Consultant in the Craniofacial Clinic at a tertiary referral hospital in New Zealand, I see a large number of babies who present with a condition called plagiocephaly – a form of flattening or deformity of the skull. This is caused by positioning a newborn infant in the same sleeping position day after day, or due to associated torticollis (wry neck). I often advise the parents of my patients to position the infant for sleeping so that they are not lying on the flat spot on the skull. This may be difficult to achieve with an active infant, where there is a strong tendency to roll back onto the flat spot. In such cases, I have found that the Safe-T-Sleep Sleepwrap device is a safe and very useful adjunct to keeping the infant in a selected sleeping position. In 2002, I ran a trial of this device, using it on over 30 babies and infants who were then observed for more than 300 hours. We found that in more than 90% of cases, the device maintained the selected sleeping position, and in no instance was there any risk to a baby from the device. In my estimation, this is a useful and effective device whose use could safely be encouraged by all health care professionals who take care of babies and neonates.
TRISTAN DE CHALAIN
Consultant plastic surgeon
FRACS, MBCHB, MSC, FSSA, FRCSC