Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a very scary and very real threat for children born in the US. It is a poorly understood illness as you might guess by the name. Researchers and parents have been working for a long time to discover the cause of this mysterious illness. One cause has finally been proven conclusively. The current recommendation to lay babies on their backs came from the discovery that babies sleeping on their bellies had a higher likelihood of dying from SIDS. What we now know is that a fungus can grow inside mattresses feeding on chemicals inside the mattress, and releasing toxic gasses. Babies on their bellies are closer to the gas. One reason it was so hard to figure out is that while new mattresses have the highest levels of carcinogenic flame-retardants and other chemicals, these were not the ones babies were dying on. It was older mattresses, which had had time to accumulate large enough populations of the fungus to create enough gas to poison babies. Sadly, this research has faced much controversy, with many authorities denying the theory. If this explanation of the cause of SIDS were accepted millions of dollars in lawsuits would quickly follow, so again, follow the money to see why you haven't heard about it. When it comes to our babies I am sure you would agree that anything that might be helpful should be tried. So what can you do? A sleeping place free from materials treated with flame-retardants is the best option, read labels carefully though because even organic mattress may contain the flame-retardants mandated by US law. Think twice before lying baby down, even for a nap, on an unfamiliar sleeping surface. Another bed in your home, a bed at a relative or friends house while visiting, or an upholstered piece of furniture like a couch is likely to have the same chemicals and fungus. You can wrap mattresses to prevent the chemicals from rising up out of them, but you need to make sure the wrap will prevent gases from going through it and doesn't have other dangerous chemicals. Here is a link for more information on the research http://www.cotlife2000.com. The website lists manufacturers of such wraps in the US and abroad. For more information on this and other ways to keep baby safe please join me for an entire class this spring on healthy babies at the Carbondale CMC class, just $25. Click here for more information.