Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: A WGEM News In-Depth Report - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: A WGEM News In-Depth Report

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Baby Davin Baby Davin
Baby Davin passed away at 2 months old. Baby Davin passed away at 2 months old.
The Lohmeyers (Left to right: Davin's father Jeremy, brother Derik, his mother Heather and brother Finley. The Lohmeyers (Left to right: Davin's father Jeremy, brother Derik, his mother Heather and brother Finley.
Baby Davin passed away May 25, 2012. Baby Davin passed away May 25, 2012.
Heather and Jeremy Lohmeyer playing with their son, Finley. Heather and Jeremy Lohmeyer playing with their son, Finley.

It's a parent's worst nightmare. You lie your baby down to sleep and he never wakes up.

Not long ago, the number of babies dying in their sleep was declining, that's not the case any longer. Government data shows Illinois, Iowa and Missouri all have seen more sleep-related child deaths in recent years.

Quincy parents Heather and Jeremy Lohmeyer lost their baby, Davin, to SIDS.

He was laying down for his afternoon nap and just stopped breathing. It happens that fast.

Lohmeyer vividly remembers when her healthy baby suddenly stopped breathing while napping at daycare.

"They were still on the phone with 911 when I got there," Lohmeyer explained. "I just happened to walk in - the most surreal moment of my life to see that. It was awful."

Blessing Physician Services Doctor Andrew Dunn said safe sleeping habits are crucial.

"The perfect place for a child to sleep is their own crib, no stuffed animals, no bumpers," Dunn said.

That advice from Dunn has been widely communicated by the "Back to Sleep Campaign." When the campaign first launched in the '90s, there was a dramatic decline in SIDS cases, but that trend has ended.

"For the past 5 or 7 years or so, we've seen just a plateau in the number of SIDS cases," Dr. Dunn said. "That just speaks to the fact we don't have a clear understanding as to why some normal, healthy infants pass away."

While unsafe sleeping conditions are a contributing factor to SIDS, it's not the case in all infant deaths. Baby Davin was in that safe position, according to his mom.

He was asleep on his back with a pacifier in his mouth.

Dunn said while many causes of infant deaths are unknown, there is one area where it can be prevented: co-sleeping.

"A separate space for them to sleep because if we roll over we suffocate that way or the extra bedding on adult beds that can contribute to sudden death," Dunn said.

Government statistics show more parents are rolling over and killing their babies more than ever before.

While co-sleeping cases can be prevented by simply not sleeping with your baby, the Lohmeyers said they will always struggle with not knowing why baby Davin died.

"It's changed us where we just enjoy our kids more because you know they could be gone any moment," Jeremy Lohmeyer said.

"I loved hearing him cry because when they're crying they're breathing. You miss that when your baby dies," Heather said.

While the Lohmeyers' lives will never be the same without baby Davin, they want other parents who may be going through a loss to know there is hope.

"Life does get better," Heather said. "You learn to live a different way. Its a new normal. You will enjoy life again," Heather said.

The Lohmeyers have launched The Davin Project as a way to honor their son as well as raise money for SIDS research by selling t-shirts. The shirts help raise awareness, open conversations, and keep Davin's memory alive within the community.  

"Everybody wants their child to make a positive impact on the world, this is our way of letting him do that even though he's not here to do it himself," Heather said.


U.S. Rates of SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Causes of Infant Death (1990—2013)

***Information from the Safe to Sleep Campaign


Fast Facts About SIDS

  • SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age.
  • More than 2,000 babies died of SIDS in 2010, the last year for which such statistics are available.1
  • Most SIDS deaths occur when in babies between 1 month and 4 months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths occur before a baby reaches 6 months of age. However SIDS deaths can occur anytime during a baby's first year.2
  • SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who seems healthy.
  • SIDS is sometimes called "crib death" or "cot death" because it is associated with the timeframe when the baby is sleeping. Cribs themselves don't cause SIDS, but the baby's sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of death.
  • Slightly more boys die of SIDS than do girls.
  • In the past, the number of SIDS deaths seemed to increase during the colder months of the year. But today, the numbers are more evenly spread throughout the calendar year.
  • SIDS rates for the United States have dropped steadily since 1994 in all racial and ethnic groups. Thousands of infant lives have been saved, but some ethnic groups are still at higher risk for SIDS.

***Information from the Safe to Sleep Campaign

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