Multimodal Distribution of SIDS and Regression Periods
Galef (1981) predicted periods of vulnerability based on his comparative evolutionary perspective on mammalian parent-infant relationships. He compared mammalian infants with parasites, who lose some structural and functional integrity once attached to a host. For human infants, this implies that once they begin to engage, or rather, re-engage with their mother, they also lose some of their structural and physiological integrity because they become increasingly dependent on the nature and timing of her care (see Field, 1985; Trevarthen & Aitken, chap. 8, this vol.) while simultaneously losing reflexive behaviors to higher brain (labile) behaviors as their development proceeds. So, they become vulnerable to neurological control system errors, especially during early, critical transitions or developmental shifts.