How is your daycare provider putting your baby to sleep?

Parents need to check that their day care providers – whether in-home or in a center—are putting their babies back-to-sleep as recommended by the government.

The Star Tribune out of Minnesota has found a dramatic increase in infant deaths while at in-home day care in Minnesota from being put to sleep in incorrect positions – generally on their tummies.

From the Star Tribune.com:

“A Star Tribune examination of hundreds of public records shows that the number of children dying in child care has nearly doubled in the past five years — reaching the rate of one per month. Nearly all the deaths have occurred at in-home providers (also known as family care), and most involved a child sleeping. The newspaper’s investigation also found more unsafe-sleep citations, such as lack of training or children in unsafe sleep positions, at in-home settings than at large child-care centers.”

“The Department of Human Services (DHS), the state’s top child-care regulator, is treating the rise in deaths as a public health crisis.”

” ‘It’s huge,” said DHS Inspector General Jerry Kerber. ‘It makes it clear that something has got to be done. What that something is, I think, is going to take the work. … It’s completely unacceptable.’ “

So while this study is looking at Minnesota, it’s a good reminder for parents across the United States to ask and make sure their babies are being put to sleep on their backs and that the care providers are following all the best practices recommended by their state, such as checking the sleeping baby every 15 minutes.

Do you know how your childcare provider is putting your baby to sleep? Have you asked? Will you ask now? How often are they checking on a sleeping baby? Do you think you get better care in a home or larger center setting?

29 comments Add your comment

RJ

May 16th, 2012
12:38 pm

The daycare center my baby goes to puts them to sleep on their back. There was a parent who told me she only puts her son to sleep on his stomach and was concerned that he wouldn’t sleep when he started daycare because they put them on their backs. I didn’t even ask why she chooses to put her child to sleep on his stomach. I will say that now that she has learned to roll, she does turn over at night.

Augusta

May 16th, 2012
1:10 pm

Me

May 16th, 2012
1:29 pm

What the…? mankind has been around for quite a while yet now we have to have the government “recommend” the manner by which to best put a baby to sleep…

TnT's Mom

May 16th, 2012
1:35 pm

Thankfully my boys are teenagers and I don’t have to muddle through all of the government “recommendations” for babies. I put both of mine to sleep on their stomachs most of the time and they survived. I knew there were risks, but did it anyway.

Augusta

May 16th, 2012
1:46 pm

Stuff like this is why I am SO thankful I never had to put any of my babies in day care.

A

May 16th, 2012
1:47 pm

Just grateful I’m 9 years past this phase. I will admit those first few months I was nervous about SIDS , and we did do the back to sleep thing. But once he started rolling over at 4 months, we found he preferred stomach sleeping and we’ve had almost no problems since then!

"Putting you baby to sleep"...

May 16th, 2012
2:49 pm

…what are they dogs – I hope not! You need a better headline writer…

Denise

May 16th, 2012
2:49 pm

Just an aunt but I am disturbed by the phrase “government recommends”. I understand why a child should sleep on her back but the government should not be involved in how you put your baby to sleep. Maybe the parents know their kids better? I think so.

BlondeHoney

May 16th, 2012
3:06 pm

Folks, I don’t think the big bad government is telling you how to put your babies to sleep…DOCTORS are because of the SIDS risk. Way back 26 years ago when my oldest was a baby my pediatrician gave me the same instructions and I followed his advice happily; he was awesome. Stop blaming everything on the government for pete’s sake

yuki

May 16th, 2012
3:16 pm

In home daycares scare me. That is where most of these type of accidents take place because a lot of times they aren’t even regulated. My baby is in a larger center and I’m thankful that I have her in such a wonderful place. I know for a fact that they put the babies on thier backs to sleep. There is always someone watching and the teacher/baby ratio has to be a certain number. The kids will never be left alone and they have other babies to watch, play with, etc. You bring them to someone’s house who knows who is watching them. My daughter is almost 5 months, and she rolls over almost immediately after being put on her back. Her head and neck are so strong that I don’t really worry too much anymore.

yuki

May 16th, 2012
3:18 pm

“their backs”

Me

May 16th, 2012
3:26 pm

@BlondeHoney — were the government not guilty it’s plausible they wouldn’t be blamed. The article clearly states “recommended by the government” so, given that, what entitiy should be “blamed”?

jarvis

May 16th, 2012
3:29 pm

“One per month”….AKA 12 a year in a state with 355,000 children under the age of 4.
It’s an epidemic I tell you!

BlondeHoney

May 16th, 2012
4:01 pm

Please, @me, do you seriously think government suits with no medical background or training are making this recommendation? I’m surprised at you, thought you had more smarts then that. And the first parent whose baby died of SIDS will be right there whining why their government didn’t warn them of the hazards of placing infants to sleep on their stomachs. I think the idea of big bad government is being carried a tad too far here…and common sense isn’t very common, which is why some parents need these types of recommendations to keep their babies healthy and alive.

jarvis

May 16th, 2012
4:23 pm

This isn’t a case of Big Bad Gubberment. This is a case of sensationalized journalism.

“A Star Tribune examination of hundreds of public records shows that the number of children dying in child care has nearly doubled in the past five years”….show the big numbers in the case of records and then throw out “doubled”.

Then rather than reporting that out of the hundreds of public records that were examined, there were only 12 kids that had died in child care, they’d rather say that kids are dropping off at a rate of 1 per month….how horrifying and that “most” were sleeping. Most of 12 huh…read somewhere between 7 and 9. I’d guess 10 or 11 would have prompted the use of “almost all” rather than “most”.

So out of hundreds of public records they found in all likelyhood about 9 sleeping children had died in 2011.

This is definitely cause for public outcry. Something must be done….the at home babysitters are killing our babies because they don’t know how to lay them in a crib correctly.

Thank you Star Tribune for making all of us safer!

MomsRule

May 16th, 2012
4:40 pm

Well said Jarvis!

K's Mom

May 16th, 2012
4:48 pm

I now have a 2 week old at home and SIDS does cross my mind because of acquaintences that lost their daughter 2 years ago. We do back to sleep because my pediatrician recommends it and her argument makes sense. I would like to know additional facts from this “ground breaking investigation.” Were there bumpers, blankets, pillows, or toys in cribs when the infants died?

Fortunately, I do not have to put my little ones in day care, but I would be skeptical of home daycraes for the reasons listed above and would want a center more like what @yuki describes.

i want a gig like this

May 16th, 2012
5:14 pm

Does one actually get paid to have a blog that generates an average of 30 comments a day..that’s good work if you can get it.

@ i want...

May 16th, 2012
5:41 pm

…but you would have to live in AZ like this blog maven…

And, on topic – my niece says her little bundle of joy (now 1 year old) was “turning over off her back” at 3 months of age, so this sensationalism is likely a moot point,and, as jarvis pointed out, especially since there were only 9 deaths reported in 2011.

Just another case of Theres’a paranoia – can you imagine her hysteria if one of her kids was still at this point in life…

shaggy

May 16th, 2012
5:45 pm

I want a gig like this.

You want a blog, get off of you lazy butt and do one. Otherwise, making lame, unoriginal commentary is, well…tired, and dumb.

Now, what I have to say is this, I always persuaded the vet to put kids to sleep. That’s why there are so many vets are on wanted posters in post offices. They are a gullible bunch.

[...] How is your daycare provider putting your baby to sleep?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Parents need to check that their day care providers – whether in-home or in a center—are putting their babies back-to-sleep as recommended by the government. The Star Tribune out of Minnesota has found a dramatic increase in infant deaths while at … [...]

[...] How is your daycare provider putting your baby to sleep?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Parents need to check that their day care providers – whether in-home or in a center—are putting their babies back-to-sleep as recommended by the government. The Star Tribune out of Minnesota has found a dramatic increase in infant deaths while at … [...]

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 16th, 2012
11:32 pm

K’s mom — hey click the link for the story because it goes into more details about some of the deaths. in one case a pillow was involved. The biggest connector was the in-home daycare and a lack of training on best practices for caregivers.

The other thing that came out several years ago was that fans moving air through the room was supposed to cut the risk tremendously. Google search that. I know we wrote about it. I will check the blog archive.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 16th, 2012
11:39 pm

The fan and reduction of SIDs story is from 2008 and we switched blogging platforms so I don’t think it’s in the archive any more but here it is from USA Today! I’m going to send it to my cousin who just had a baby a week ago.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-10-06-SIDS-fans_N.htm

K's Mom

May 17th, 2012
12:15 am

Thanks TWG! We keep a fan going and right now he is in a bassinet in our room to ease middle off the night feedings. My pediatrician has children who are 4, 2 and will deliver her third in a few weeks so we have spoken about this and she is against bumpers and I have become that way too. As a decorator I get really upset at the misinformation and lack of information that the baby stores put out there on bumpers. I also hate seeing a TV show or magazine spread that has too much stuff in a crib. When I do nurseries for clients I always recommend that parents talk to their pediatrician about the bumpers and I have about 10 different things that can be done with them that are decorative if the investment has already been made.

The article does seem a bit alarmist, but there are a lot of parents who do not educate themselves on sleep safety that pediatricians recommend so I doubt the listen to gov’t recs either. I just feel fortunate that my pediatrician stays up to date on relevant research in this area.

child care centers

May 17th, 2012
5:05 am

Hi
Theresa Walsh Giarrusso,
It is really a nice and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this useful info with us. your idea of checking every sleeping baby in 15 minutes is very nice.

Jessica

May 17th, 2012
4:34 pm

I wonder how many infants die while left in the care of well-meaning but ignorant (or stubborn) relatives? When my kids were babies, my MIL made a point of ignoring our wishes when she took care of them, including how they should be put down for a nap. Apparently, the fact that her kids ate table food at four months/slept on their stomachs/ rode in forward-facing seats and lived to tell about it meant that it was perfectly fine for my kids too. I wonder, are some of these in-home daycares are run by grandma types who already ‘know’ everything about child and are not open to learning anything new?

(On a somewhat-unrelated note, my MIL has improved on this in recent years. She now makes the kids wear bike helmets, etc.)

Denise

May 18th, 2012
1:15 pm

@Jessica – you are talking about my well-meaning grandmother. Her answer to everything is “they say you have to [do xyz] but you don’t really have to”. Uh, yeah, Mother, getting a ticket is not going to happen. I’ll just struggle getting the car seat in backwards. And killing the baby is not going to happen if I can help it so I’m going to buckle it in RIGHT not just the easy way, too. SMH…I love that old woman but I would watch her like a hawk until I was sure she’d listen to what I said to do with my (imaginary) kid.

K's Mom

May 19th, 2012
4:22 pm

@Jessica, I feel for you. We are fortunate that my parents do things the “new” way and per our instructions as does our favorite sitter who is in her 60’s. My husband’s mom is elderly and does not stay with our kids. I have many friends who fight that battle and it can lead to major stress and hurt feelings.