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sleeping baby6 This was a survey of statistics concerning babies who died unexpectedly. The data reveal that significantly more babies who died unexpectedly of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) were sleeping in a parental bed than sleeping alone in a crib.

These statistics were taken from data over a three-year period in nine states to assess where babies who died of SIDS were sleeping when found. However, this study proves nothing.

A similar study could be done showing that more children develop asthma symptoms when outdoors. Should we then dissuade children from going outdoors or exercising? Or we could study low income families and discover that more of these children have asthma compared to children from more affluent families. Obviously other factors are present which would increase the risk of these children developing asthma such as poor nutrition or more exposure to pollution. Similarly there are risk factors that increase the likelihood of babies dying of SIDS, such as a parent's use of alcohol, drugs, or sleeping pills. However, the greatest risk factor that remains relatively unknown is the toxic fumes that disperse from mattresses treated with fire retardants. Simply covering the mattress with plastic sheeting or using an organic mattress brings the incidence of SIDS to zero.

Maligning the family bed is a favorite pastime in conventional medicine. The vast majority of families in the world sleep with their babies, and SIDS incidence in those cultures is low. Many studies have shown the benefits of babies sleeping with a parent, including an increased incidence of breast feeding, better sleep for babies, more stable heart and breathing patterns, and greater confidence and security in babies. At least one other study has shown a fourfold decrease in SIDS in co-sleeping babies. All of these studies should reassure parents that the family bed is a safe and healthy choice for babies to sleep.

Schnitzer PG, Covington TM, Dykstra HK. Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths: Sleep Environment and Circumstances. American Journal of Public Health. 2012 Apr 19.

Babies sleep better in a dark room and when fed organic baby food

What Should You do if Your Child Gets an Ear Infection?

baby earFirst, watchful waiting is a solid strategy before asking your doctor for a prescription.

The majority of kids will get better in 48-72 hours with no antibiotics necessary.

During this time, you can try the following solutions, which work remarkably well in treating acute ear infections:
• Make garlic ear drops. Ear drops that include extracts of garlic may help reduce the pain of middle-ear infections in children. You can make your own at home by crushing a clove of FRESH raw garlic and dissolving it in some olive oil. Put a few drops of oil in the ear canal, as long as the ear drum is not perforated.
• Use breast milk for ear drops. If you have access to breast milk, put a few drops of breast milk in the ear canal every few hours. This usually works to clear up the infection within 24 to 48 hours and is far safer, less expensive and a better solution than putting your child on antibiotics.
• Apply a poultice. Application of warmth behind the ear can be used to mobilize the post-auricular lymph chain and vasculature and to draw congestion away from the inflamed area of the middle ear.

Steps for Prevention
Ear infections are often preventable, and food allergies are one of the number one modifiable causes. Most children will find relief by:
• Following the nutrition plan and cutting out grains and sugars (including soda and fruit juice).
• Avoiding pasteurized milk. Consumption of dairy products, particularly pasteurized dairy, is a culprit for many children. Raw organic milk is the best
• Avoid sugars and fruit juices, which will impair your child's immune response and make them more susceptible to these types of infections.

Additionally, breastfeeding for at least six months has been linked to fewer ear infections in infants and babies.

Exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke also increases the risk of ear infections in children, so make sure your kids are kept away from cigarette smoke.
The bottom line to remember is that if your child gets an ear infection, it doesn't mean he or she needs an antibiotic.
In fact, in most cases the drugs will only do more harm than good. Before following a knee-jerk response to get a prescription as soon as your child gets an ear infection, work with a health care practitioner who will encourage you to watch the illness and let it take its course before intervening with drugs.
Remember, in the vast majority of cases, ear infections will go away on their own in two to three days with no medications necessary.