Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) is the sudden, unexpected, and unexplained death of a child under one year of age and is sometimes referred to as “crib death.” Although no one knows what causes SIDS, there are some things you can do to make your baby safer.
Place your baby on his or her back to sleep. Although for many years, this was not considered good advice, studies have now shown that this contributes greatly towards reducing the chance of an occurrence of SIDS. Not all babies should sleep on their backs however. Discuss this with your doctor if your baby has any medical, eating, or congenital problems.
Babies should never be placed in a crib or bed with large, loose, or fluffy blankets, pillows, or comforters. There should not be any gaps between the mattress and the crib frame. The temperature in the room should be kept at a comfortable level. Do not allow your baby to get too warm.
Establish a smoke-free zone around your baby. Research indicates that cigarette smoke in your baby’s environment increases the risk of SIDS.
Breast-feed your baby, even if for only a short period of time. Breast milk contributes to your baby’s overall health and can decrease the risk of SIDS.