3 Surprisingly True Old Wives' Tales About SIDS

Some folkloric wisdom about baby-raising is kind of hilarious (and borderline scary). For instance, encouraging your kiddo to stand in your lap won't result in a bowlegged baby. In some cases, however, the wisdom of the ancestors prevails. For instance, there are some old wives' tales about SIDS that are true. Following this advice could help everyone in your home sleep a little easier.

It's no wonder this condition has caused many myths to spring up over the years. In fact, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), in which your baby dies while sleeping of apparently unknown causes, may be many parents' worst nightmare. Fear of this terrifying condition could drive you to check on your sleeping newborn again and again throughout the night.

OK, so for full disclosure: these myths about babies' safe sleep habits may not be directly factual. Still, some of these old wives' tales contain a kernel of truth anyway. So while, for instance, your pet cat is not actually going to steal your baby's breath away, it's still a good idea to keep Fluffy out of your kid's crib. Occasionally, old myths hold some truth for unexpected reasons. Read over these old bits of wisdom to make sure you aren't accidentally disregarding good advice about your child's sleep practices.

Cribs Cause SIDS

Although the crib by itself won't cause the condition, there is something behind the idea of making sure your baby's crib is a safe sleep space. According to the National Institutes of Health's Safe to Sleep campaign, making sure your infant's crib mattress is firm, and keeping loose bedding away, is a smart way to help your baby sleep more safely. In fact, there is a lot you can do in the nursery to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Cats Will Harm Your Sleeping Baby

Good news: your kitty friend is not plotting to steal your child's breath. Even the worst feline out there isn't that evil. However, according to Kids Health, it's still a good idea to keep your cat out of the baby's crib. There is the slightest chance that your cat could act as a suffocation hazard to your baby (although pillows and loose blankets are typically noted as a more immediate threat.) At the very least, your baby will probably have an easier time sleeping without a cat stomping around her.

Wool Is Bad For Babies

Now this is kind of a weird one. As noted on Reddit, there is an old wives' tale that wool is not a good material to use for baby clothes or blankets. And if your or a loved one is a Merino wool devotee, the idea of going without this fiber is borderline offensive. However, there may be a grain of truth to this idea. As noted in Merck Manual, the use of soft bedding, such as lamb's wool blankets, has been linked to SIDS. It's a bit of a stretch, sure, but in any case, foregoing the fluffy bedding may be a good call.