Preventing SIDS

So easy you can do it in your sleep

As its name suggests, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a mysterious and tragic fate that meets thousands of families every year. Thankfully, though, we are no longer totally in the dark about how to prevent it. Awareness of where and how our babies sleep can go a long way in reducing the incidence of SIDS.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants sleep on their backs to prevent airway blockage. Your baby should only be on her tummy while she is being watched. An infant’s mattress should be firm and free of pillows and blankets. Reports of SIDS occurrences coinciding with co-sleeping no not mean that there is anything wrong with laying down with your baby. What you can’t do is lay your baby on fluffy surfaces unsupervised.

Can pacifier's prevent SIDs?

To keep infants warm in their cribs, dress them in a sleep sack or an extra layer of clothing that will not come loose. Make sure that they do not get too warm, though. If the skin is hot to the touch, remove a layer.

These precautions are most important during the first 6 months of life. Since the AAP launched their “Back to Sleep” campaign in 1992, the reported cases of SIDS have decreased by 50%.

There is some evidence that using a pacifier can help prevent SIDS, but remember that the pacifier is a tool for the baby that should not be used constantly or forced. Used improperly, it could be harmful. Do not use a pacifier until you have developed a steady breastfeeding pattern with your baby for at least 3 weeks. If it falls out, do not replace it. Take the cue from the baby that she does not need it.

For more information on SIDS and sleep concerns, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics.