Wyatt was most comfortable and usually preferred to be placed on his stomach with his knees bent under him. This meant his bottom was up in the air. Despite typical advice against placing babies in this position we readily kept Wyatt this way. Unfortunately much of the concerns with this position regarding SIDS and suffocation did not apply for Wyatt because he was unable to turn his head by himself.
****If Wyatt was able to move on his own we would not have used this position.****
As Wyatt's condition progressed, breathing became less labored for Wyatt while he was on his side. His spine was always aligned and supports were placed between major joints (elbows, knees) which enabled Wyatt more freedom of movement of his wrists, fingers, ankles and toes.
This wedge is made to fit your crib width. When Wyatt began having trouble with gastric reflux, placing his head and shoulders on the wedge while lying on his back or side gave him the 45 degree angle needed to alleviate some of his symptoms. When Wyatt began having difficulty breathing we used the wedge under his hips and legs to angle them slightly higher than the rest of his body. This helped to support his diaphragm despite weak abdominal muscles.
This is an absolute "must have" for any baby. We used this first as a nursing pillow wrapping the open side around Mom's waist and laying Wyatt on to to nurse. Next, we used it to support trunk and neck strength development by placing Wyatt's arms over the back of the Boppy while laying on his stomach. We used the Boppy to support more upright positions ( the angle was much more comfortable than an infant seat or swing) which allowed support of the shoulders as well as enabled Wyatt to move his hands and fingers. We also used it to support Wyatt in side lying.
We found that this provided just the right amount of head and neck support to help Wyatt keep his head in midline (looking straight ahead). It gave enough of a chin tuck to discourage Wyatt from keeping his tongue in the back of his mouth, and allowed for Wyatt to begin making more sounds with his tongue. We never had enough of these around-we had one on the changing table, one in his crib, one where he played.....
Of course as supports in all positions you can use rolled up towels or cloth diapers but we found most helpful, as well as endearing, using "Beanie Babies" was perfect. They come in a variety of sizes, "Teenie Beanies" to "Pillow Pals" and a variety of shapes. All conformed to Wyatt's body, were soft and cuddly, and provided exactly the right support be it his head, arms, knees, etc. Wyatt loved his Beanies.
Each infant stricken with SMA, Type I is different. We have included this only for your information. All medical decisions should be made in conjunction with your doctor.