All parents worry about their baby’s safety and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age. Nearly 4,000 infants in the U.S. die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. Most occur while the infant is sleeping in an unsafe sleeping environment.
The following are 8 ways to reduce a baby’s risk of SIDS:
Always place babies on their backs to sleep for every sleep.
Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
Have your baby share your room, not your bed. Your baby should not sleep on an adult bed, couch, chair, or with you or anyone else.
Keep soft objects, such as pillows and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.
Do not smoke during pregnancy and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby. The risk of SIDS increases when a baby shares a bed with a smoker.
Breastfeed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep. Dress your baby in no more than one layer of clothing more than an adult would wear to be comfortable. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.
Give your infant plenty of tummy time when he or she is awake and when someone is watching.
While research continues to determine what causes SIDS, we do know that by following these preventive measures, you can reduce your baby’s risk while giving him or her the best care possible.
Gina Potts, M.D. Pediatrician
Memorial Hermann Medical Group
2520 B F Terry Boulevard
Rosenberg, TX 77471