SIDS Awareness: Putting Your Baby to Sleep Safely
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the leading cause of deaths for babies between one month and one year of age. It occurs most frequently in babies that are 1-4 months old. One of the most common misconceptions is that SIDS is caused by vomiting, choking, or vaccinations. There are many things you can do while pregnant and after birth that can help reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS, but one of the most important steps you can take is making sure that you are putting your little one to sleep safely.
In a recent study, the majority of parents who participated were seen putting their baby to sleep in an unsafe position or surrounded by items that can increase your baby’s risk of SIDS. Despite a variety of educational campaigns aimed at helping parents take precautionary steps, the low risk of SIDS often leaves parents feeling comfortable. In honor of SIDS Awareness Month, here are the things you can be doing to ensure your baby sleeps safely – both throughout the night and during naps.
- Place babies to sleep on their backs – never their stomach or side
- Adjust the room temperature to keep him from getting too hot – if you notice sweating, heat rash, rapid breathing, or flushed cheeks, the room could be too warm
- Dress your baby in light clothing for sleep
- Make sure the mattress is firm and covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety regulations
- Keep the crib in a completely smoke-free area
- Use a pacifier, but ensure that it does not have clips or fabric that could cause strangulation
- Remove toys, blankets, comforters, pillows, bumper pads, and stuffed animals from your baby’s crib
- Opt for sleep clothing or wearable blankets over loose bedding
- Never put a baby to sleep on a chair, couch, waterbed, cushions, or pillows
Ensuring that you keep these tips in mind when putting your baby to sleep can help prevent SIDS while also giving you peace of mind. If you’re still concerned about the risk, speak with your doctor directly for other recommendations.