This week: loveys, prenatal vitamins, moving, milk supply
Welcome back for this week’s subscriber-only Q&A. Submit questions for future weeks here.
What is the risk of introducing a small lovey during the night in the crib at nine months old? My formerly good, independent sleeper is going through a phase of separation anxiety (it seems) and wakes up screaming for us and just wants to be held. I gave her a lovey and she slept through the night again, holding it all night. I know the official guidance says to have nothing in the crib before 12 months, but I’m wondering about the true risks at nine.
Public health advice is often overly conservative. There is sometimes an attempt to (using a phrase from Talmudic studies) “build a fence around the law.” Having a lot of soft items in a crib with a newborn can be dangerous and increase risk of suffocation. In attempting to avoid that, we get public health advice that goes much further — nothing at all in a crib up to a year — in the hopes that even if people bend this a little, they will not bend it so far as to be close to the dangerous outcome.
This is also why, I think, the CDC says you should cook your burger until it is well-done.
The problem, of course, is that this can make it hard to figure out what rules are really important. It also means there is a big range of things that are actually quite safe to do that are ruled out.
This is a long-winded way of saying that it is totally, completely fine to give your nine-month-old a lovey. The risk of SIDS goes down dramatically after the first few months of life. Risk of suffocation is far, far lower with a child who can move their head around, roll over, etc. Also, a lovey is typically very light and thin, and extremely unlikely to be a suffocation risk.
My only advice: get multiple versions of the same lovey. Otherwise it will never get washed.
My sister (who’s not a doctor) told me it’s better to take prenatal vitamins with folate instead of folic acid because the body absorbs folate better. I asked my doctor, and she said it didn’t make a difference. Does it make a difference? Seems like there might be some truth to this after a quick Google search.