With any new parent, newborn safety is at the top of lists on everyone’s concerns. And unless you have not done any research at all, then you are aware of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and the grave nature of its impact.
But many do not exactly know what it is and even the experts are unsure of the root cause of the problem.
There are however some tips to prevent SIDS in newborn children, with the peak impact occurring at roughly 2 – 5 months old. Risks should be mitigated up to and through 12 months old though.
Note: We are not doctors; refer to your pediatrician or ER for any concern.
Now down to business on 6 tips to help prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome):
Tip #1 – Sleep on Back
- A flat surface is a must. Not a car seat, carrier, swing, etc. Even if for a short time asleep the child should be moved to a hard flat surface in a bassinet or crib if old enough.
- If you do swaddle your baby, be sure to place him or her on their backs when putting them to sleep. However, it is important to note that once baby can roll over on their own to remove their arms from the swaddle so they can rotate from stomach to back on their own.
- Rule of thumb states that until a child is a full 1 year old, they should always be placed on their backs to sleep and if you see them roll to their tummy, there is nothing wrong with rotating and flipping them onto their backs again.
Tip # 2 – Temperature Not Too Warm
- A sleep sack or sleep swaddle may help you baby fall asleep, but be sure to not make the baby too warm. This an increase the risk of SIDS. For whatever unknown reason, higher room temps seem to correlate with an increase in death of newborns due to SIDS. So if it hot in your house or apartment, spend a few extra bucks on the air conditioning or fans to make the room temp reasonable. Many strive for 72 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
- The sleeping room of the child should be at a comfortable temperature. Error on the side of being too cold.
Tip # 3 – Firm Surface
- Similar to item #1, this cannot be stressed enough, is the firm surface that the baby must sleep on. An infant need to be perfectly flat and never fall asleep on a soft bed or couch for any length of time.
- While soft blankets and stuffed toys may look cute and all, sleeping with them is not recommend for any young child. The risk is the baby could get too close to these objects, as well as blankets, and each could impact the newborn’s breathing.
Tip # 4 – Room Sharing
- Parents that sleep in the same room, but not in the bed, of the child show decreased risk of SIDS. This practice should continue up through 1 year of age to help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome in babies. The thought being the parents will notice anything unusual quicker and can react before anything terrible would happen.
- Breastfeeding also shows to decrease the risk of SIDS, so if you are able to do so consider this a factor in your decision as well.
Tip #5 – Smoke Free Abode
- While always a good health practice to avoid smoking, this is especially true to help reduce risk with newborns and infants. Or any child or person for that matter. Coming in contact with smoke should be avoiding at all costs for children to help reduce the risk of SIDS.
Tip #6 – Doctor Checkups
- While the doctor cannot specifically say your child is at risk, since so little is actually known, they can diagnose possible health issues that could be a factor creating further complications that in turn could lead to additional risks that could be mitigated as best as possible.
These are all considered best practices to prevent SIDS in newborns and infants. While they are not guaranteeing anything, playing the odds can definitely help in preventing a tragic outcome.
Research and Education
In exciting news, scientists have uncovered a possible gene connection in relation to S.I.D.S and research is being further reviewed for the next steps to take.
Also, here is an informational SIDS video worth watching: