Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for infants between one month and a year. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips to reduce the risk:
- Put your baby to sleep on his back (not his side) at naptime and at night. “Research has shown that the number of deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can be reduced by half when putting babies on their backs to sleep,” says George J. Cohen, M.D., editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Guide to Your Child’s Sleep.
- Use a firm crib mattress.
- Keep soft objects (like pillows, comforters or plush toys) out of the crib.
- Don’t smoke.
- Put your baby to sleep in his own bed, but in your room. It’s okay to bring your baby into your bed for feeding or a cuddle, but put him back in the crib when you’re ready to go to sleep.
- Give your baby a pacifier at nap and bed times. If you’re nursing, introduce the pacifier when your baby is a month old to ensure breastfeeding is established.
- Breastfeed. “Some studies suggest that breastfed babies have lower incidence of SIDS than bottlefed babies,” says Dr. Cohen.
Once a baby can roll from his back to his tummy the is probably out of the danger zone for SIDS. “There’s no need to watch your baby’s every move or have him on a pancake flipper,” says Dr. Cohen.