We want to help parents avoid a tragedy by giving them ways they can reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Every year, there are around 3,500 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the U.S. alone.
SIDS is an unfortunate reality many new parents have to face. However, there are certain things you can do to lower the risks of SIDS for your infant.
Read on to find out what sudden infant death syndrome is and the best things you can do for your baby to reduce the risks of SIDS.
What Is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the general term used when a baby suddenly passes away for no apparent reason. For the death to fall under SIDS, the infant must be younger than one-year-old. If the child is over one-year-old, it is considered SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child).
A baby’s cause of death is typically ruled as SIDS after a thorough investigation is done and no cause of death can be identified.
SIDS is considered a diagnosis of exclusion.
Why Does Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Happen?
At the time of writing, scientists aren’t 100% sure what exactly causes SIDS. However, they speculate that it’s because infants are unable to effectively detect low levels of oxygen or high levels of carbon dioxide. Children and adults are able to arouse from sleep to prevent suffocation, but many babies aren’t able to do so.
There is a triple risk model that’s proposed by scientists:
- An undetectable abnormality prevents the infant from responding to low oxygen/high carbon dioxide levels
- There’s a triggering event (i.e. sleeping on the stomach, blanket around the face, hand or arm near the face)
- The above 2 points happen in a critical development period which is believed to be a rapid brain growth phase
Some SIDS deaths are unpreventable, but make are preventable. Infants in unsafe sleep conditions have a high risk of SIDS.
How to Reduce the Risks of SIDS
Unfortunately, you can’t prevent SIDS completely. However, the good news is, there are many steps you can take to drastically reduce the risks of SIDS and the chances of it happening. Read on for our tips.
Get Your Infant Vaccinated
There is a small minority of people who think vaccinations cause issues, including SIDS. But that’s not true at all!
In fact, vaccines can help protect against SIDS. The evidence suggests that it can reduce the risk of SIDS by 50%, so make sure to get your children vaccinated.
Have Your Baby Sleep on Their Back
When your baby is sleeping on their side or stomach, this can cause their nose and mouth to be buried into the crib mattress which can cut off their oxygen supply or trap harmful carbon dioxide.
So when you put your child down to sleep, make sure they’re on their back. Back sleeping is the safest position for a baby to sleep and is believed to significantly reduce the risk of SIDS.
Co-sleeping is something some parents choose to do because parents believe it helps them bond with their babies better.
But the fact is, the sleep deprivation that comes with parenthood can prevent adults from noticing cues that they’ve rolled over on their infants. As a result, they may inadvertently suffocate their children. Babies can also easily become entangled in the sheets and blankets.
For mothers who are breastfeeding, make sure you get your infant safely back in their crib before you fall asleep.
Your infant should have their own crib, which means they shouldn’t co-sleep with anyone. This means they shouldn’t sleep with you or their siblings. Co-sleeping is one of the biggest risk of SIDS and other infant sleep related deaths.
Keep the Crib in Your Room
For at least the first three months of your child’s life, you should keep the crib in your room. This allows you to quickly check on them and take lifesaving actions if you notice them not breathing. It’s best if you put the crib as close to your bed as possible.
After three months, your baby should be eating enough to sleep through the night.
Keep the Crib as Bare as Possible
When you have a baby, you might want to decorate their crib so it’s cute, or you may want them to have soft cozy things to snuggle with such as blankets, toys and pillows. However, all of these things can trap harmful carbon dioxide increasing suffocation hazards.
In fact, even plain pillows and blankets can significantly raise the risk of SIDS. All you really need is a firm mattress and that’s it. Don’t use bumper pads; they have been linked to suffocation, asphyxiation, and strangulation deaths of infants. Some states have even banned the sale of them.
Make sure you dress your baby warmly and appropriately for the weather. The general rule is to add one more layer than you would have for bed. Wearable blankets are best to reduce the risks of SIDS.
Get a SafeSleep® Crib Mattress
On the note of a firm mattress, you should get one from SafeSleep®.
The SafeSleep® Breathe-Through Crib Mattress has years of research and testing creating a safer, more sanitary sleeping environment for baby. The SafeSleep® crib mattress is completely and easily washable. It is also hypoallergenic.
The SafeSleep® Breathe-Through Crib Mattress has been scientifically proven to have the lowest score for both suffocation and carbon dioxide rebreathing risks. So if your baby must sleep on their stomach for any reason, you will want a SafeSleep® crib mattress. It’s the only crib mattress physicians write prescriptions for infants who must tummy sleep for health reasons.
In addition, the mattress has a 3D air-permeable topper, as well as no core that results in positional pressure, which may cause skull deformities. Both factors will help keep your infant comfortable all throughout the night.
And when the mattress is dirty, you can just throw the topper in the the wash and wipe down the base! In fact, it’s the only completely washable crib mattress on the market.
Lower the Risks Of SIDS
Now you know what sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is, why it happens, and what you can do to lower the chances of it happening to your baby.
The next step is to purchase the SafeSleep® crib mattress. Our truly breathe-through mattress will keep your infant safe whenever they’re sleeping.
Are you interested in getting a SafeSleep® crib mattress for your baby? Then shop our selection now!