A baby’s scream. A carseat toppled over on the ground. A panicked mothered shaken in fear.
No, this wasn’t the scene of car accident. This was the floor of a warm, carpeted bedroom, where a baby was put to nap while his mom dozed off.
A strong, restless six month old who woke up and rocked himself back and forth until the carseat tipped over.
I was quick to grab him, but the mere seconds of the incident left me in a state of shock, fear, shame, and guilt.
Car seats for napping: This is what parents of reflux babies do when they are literally run to the ground, so their child can be elevated and possibly sleep. That’s what comes up when you search for reflux solutions. That's what your colleague says they did with their baby. That’s what I did because I thought it was the right thing. Turns out it’s wrong, very wrong.
According to CribsForKids.org, in step with the AAP Safe Sleep Guidelines, "If an infant falls asleep in a sitting device, he or she should be removed from the product and moved to a crib or other appropriate flat surface as soon as is practical. Car safety seats and similar products are not stable on a crib mattress or other elevated surfaces."
It doesn’t seem real as I share it to this day. In fact maybe two or three people even know this story. It represented the breaking point in what was a chaotic blend of life's duties, sleep deprivation and desperation.
Even if the situation doesn't require hospitalization or constant medical attention (sadly it does for so many), there are other serious risks and issues beyond the illness that surround reflux, colic and more. They are to be taken seriously even when others won't.
The gravity of parenting isn’t in making your mistakes and learning from them. It’s when you are truly giving your all, doing all you believe is right, and everything can still fall down around you.
Our only hope is to find strength through serving something far beyond ourselves.
Bring on the Bibs
This story is the reason I do Down With Spit Up, amidst an otherwise full and complex life as a parent and professional. I received a gift that day of a positive outcome, and from then on, I committed to paying it forward for other parents and caregivers.
But what did I have to give? I’m a marketing/communications practitioner and writer. Ok, well I can write blog articles and connect via social media.
What else? Well, there was the bibs.
Oh yea, THE BIBS. What my poor mother with carpal tunnel at the time had to sew from towels to help me and my family cope.
Spit up was everywhere. I wore a oversized hoodie everyday on top of real clothes to catch the worst of it.
I doubled and tripled on bibs around his neck each day, removing one at a time as they were soiled. No nice baby clothes stood a chance. And then the solids came (back up and up again, for 18 months).
This bib system did its job - my child grew up - but the fears from that scary day remained. I decided I would revisit this product with a clearer mind and travel back to the very different way we had to “bib and burp,” in our house.
So here it is: Bib Builder by Down With Spit Up. Handmade in Cleveland, Ohio and as simple as it appears.
This might seem like an odd way to launch a product. A product I wish didn't have to exist. I could’ve created a fluffy marketing campaign full of hearts, butterflies and happy emojis. But:
Your thoughts and feedback are crucial at this critical phase. Check out the video below and contact me direct or through our many social channels to share ideas and more.
What I do know is that we will all carry on, as we must!
**Special thanks to Jessie and her beautiful baby boy for lending his adorableness to our video demo!
Spit Up Support Blog
Yea, I went there. Nearly half of all babies spit up, regularly. Some more, some less, and for many it's just plain scary.
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