The secret to SIDS might be in the ear


The findings make sense to me. I get uncontrollably tired whenever there is a hurricane on its way. I figured out a while back that this is due to the unusually low pressure associated with these storms. I have sensitive hearing and somehow whatever mechanism accounts for my acute hearing also seems to respond to low pressure. Other people do not seem to get tired from low pressure the way I do and seem to think I’m a bit crazy for needing to conk out in the middle of every tropical storm and hurricane. I’m not sure how the whole inner ear pressure thing might make me sleepy, but sometimes I notice a full feeling in my ears when I am tired.

This is most interesting! My son suffered sudden cardiac arrest and died at the age of 10 yrs old. He had many ear infections and started stuttering (there is no known cause for stuttering) approximately a year and a half before his death. Many SIDS cases have been found to be related to an undetected heart condition, such as Long QT Syndrome.

While I don’t know if it will really protect against SIDS, if one is worried about it, I suggest the Angel Care monitor. It has this sensor plate you place under the crib. it can sense when your baby stops breathing and will alert you. One draw back is when you take your baby out to feed it or what not, and in your zombie state you don’t turn off the monitor, so just as you walk down the hall it starts to beep at you.

Still I know Maggie is going to be a new mom, and I’m sure there are others out there. My wife is one of those worrier types and this device allowed some piece of mind.

It depends, though, on what kind of “worrier type” a person is. For some people, increased ability to monitor just creates a vicious cycle where you never really stop worrying, especially because there is a whole industry offering endless solutions to monitor more and more stuff.

I don’t know your wife, obviously, so I cannot say whether this would apply to her, but to me, being a parent is partly about learning to deal with being worried and then finding ways to stop worrying. Whenever I see one of Maggies posts come up and it’s yet another “thing you can be worried about as a fresh or soon-to-be parent” ™, I sometimes wonder whether she lets herself worry too much.

In some aspects, being a parent just plain fucking sucks. It’s terrifying as hell. You give your entire heart to the most wonderful little being and the world pretty much does nothing but try to kill it, constantly. And then it grows older and chases danger after danger, as though it was trying to bait all those terrible things for attention. You have to find your level of numbed comfort with the potential horrors, because at the end of the day, mostly what kills children (aside from plain old disesase) is just bad luck. There are tons of things that nobody can be prepared for and that you shouldn’t try preparing for because you’d never ever succeed.

Being a parent (again: to me) is about making a decision on what to worry about. Monitoring something that you’re worried about means that you may have found a way to cope, but it does not necessarily mean you have stopped worrying. At some point, you need to stop worrying or else it will eat you alive.

So: If you start monitoring something, always do so with the intent of, some day, stopping to monitor.


When ever the SIDS comes up I always think back to this story I heard on NPR.

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