For a baby, there can be no better
comfort zone than it's mother's arms; so soft and tender.... no doubt that babies
sleep so soundly in them! No matter how stressed you are, the sight of your
baby's eyelids dropping to the swaying of your arms and then seeing them smile
in their dreams immediately takes away all your troubles and worries. We all
wish we could sleep like a baby, don't we?
When it comes to the topic of where the
baby should sleep, choices are aplenty like bassinets, crib or simply with you
on your bed. A lot of our thought process is channelized towards where the baby
should sleep and
you invest lot of your time in selecting the best mattress for your baby. You
do a lot of research to test the mattress yourself to see if the mattress is
firm, not too lumpy and overall comfortable to sleep on. You want to make sure
you provide a safe and best environment for your baby to sleep on. After all,
they spend most of their time sleeping and playing on their bed.
We all are aware that the warm, moist environment of the mattress is
the perfect place for dust mites
to live, which could potentially cause allergic reaction in people who are
sensitive to them. House dust mite allergy is quite common and could lead to asthma, eczema
and hay fever.
New research shows that sleeping on
bedding made with animal skins could reduce your baby's risk of developing
asthma. Scientists hypothesize that germs in the hide and fur prime the immune
system not to trigger allergies.
researchers conducted a study in 2,441 healthy German babies and monitored
their progress until they were 10 years old. About 55 percent of the babies
slept on animal skin
during their first three months of life.
was found that babies who slept on animal skin were 79 percent less likely to
develop asthma by six years of age as compared to children who were not exposed
to animal skin.
results of the study were presented at the European Respiratory Society's
International Congress held in Munich. It lends support to the "hygiene
hypothesis" which suggests that too much cleanliness early in life can
increase susceptibility to allergies.
Tischer, one of the lead researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen
Research Centre, said: "Previous studies have suggested that microbes
found in rural settings can protect from asthma. An animal skin might also be a
reservoir for various kinds of microbes, following similar mechanisms as has
been observed in rural environments."
"Our findings have confirmed that it is crucial to study further the
actual microbial environment within the animal fur to confirm these
Find the root cause or the trigger, which
causes the allergy, and try and avoid it. For eg., if it is an environmental or
airborne allergy, such as mould and pollen allergies, keep your baby away from
it. Keep your baby indoors when the pollen count is high, especially when it's windy outside. Make
sure you wash or bathe the baby well after coming indoors.
Keep an antihistamine (eg., Benadryl) handy which could
help with the baby's allergy symptoms such as itching, runny nose and hives. Sometimes topical or inhaled steroids are also used.
Immunotherapy, in which the baby or the child is exposed to
small amounts of allergens
for the purpose of desensitization could also be considered. It is normally
recommended in severe allergies such as hay fever or pet allergies.
If the baby or child suffers with severe or
life threatening allergies, then you need to keep an EpiPen (syringe filled
with Epinephrine) with you at all times.
So the next time you
notice your baby being wheezy and congested in the morning, take a good look at
the bedding. Select the right kind of mattress keeping asthma and allergies in
mind. You could consider changing it to animal skin bedding after talking to
your health care provider and see the difference for yourself.