How to Prevent SIDS
We want to help parents avoid a tragedy by sharing how to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Yearly, there are around 3,500 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the U.S. alone.
SIDS is an unfortunate reality that many new parents face. However, there are certain things you can do to reduce the risk of SIDS for your infant.
Read on to find out what sudden infant death syndrome is and what best to do for your baby to prevent SIDS.
What Is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the general term used when a baby suddenly dies for no obvious reason. In order for death to be under SIDS, the infant must be younger than the one-year-old. If the child is over one year old, it is considered SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child).
The cause of death of a baby is typically defined as SIDS after a thorough investigation 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 are not 100% sure what exactly causes SIDS. However, they speculate it is because infants are unable to effectively detect low oxygen or high carbon dioxide levels. Children and adults can wake up to prevent suffocation, but many babies are unable 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 believed to be a rapid brain growth phase
Some SIDS deaths are not preventable, but most are preventable. Infants in unsafe sleep conditions are at high risk of SIDS.
How to Prevent SIDS
Unfortunately, we cannot fully prevent SIDS. The good news, however, is that 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 on how to prevent SIDS.
Preventing SIDS Starts with Get Your Infant Vaccinated
There is a small minority of people who believe vaccinations cause problems, including SIDS. But that’s not true.
In fact, vaccines help protect against SIDS. The evidence suggests vaccinations reduce the risk of SIDS by 50%.
So, one sure way on how to prevent SIDS is getting your baby vaccinated.
Have Your Baby Sleep on Their Back Helps Prevent SIDS
If your baby is sleeping on their side or stomach, this can lead to one of two scenarios. Firstly, when the crib mattress is soft, its nose and mouth are buried in the crib mattress, which cuts off its oxygen supply. The second, when the crib mattress is firm, exhaled air (carbon dioxide) can be inhaled. When carbon dioxide is continuously inhaled, it leads to death.
Find out more on Baby Sleeping Face Down – Baby Sleeping Face Down – What To Do.
Another way to prevent SIDS is to always put your child down to sleep on their back. Back sleep is the safest place for a baby to sleep and is believed to significantly reduce the risk of SIDS.
Risk of SIDS Increases When Co-Sleeping
Co-sleeping is something some parents choose because parents believe it helps them bond with their babies better.
But the fact is insufficient sleep associated with parenthood can prevent adults from getting clues they have rolled over on their infants. As a result, they can unintentionally suffocate their babies. Babies can also easily become entangled in the sheets and blankets.
For breastfeeding mothers, make sure that your infant is safely put in their crib before falling asleep.
Your baby should have his own crib, which means he should not co-sleep with anyone. This means they should not 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 to Prevent SIDS
For the first three months of your child’s life, you should keep the crib in your room. This allows you to quickly check them and take lifesaving measures if you notice they are not breathing. It is best to put the crib as close as possible to the bed.
After three months, your baby should eat enough to sleep through the night.
Keep the Crib as Bare as Possible
If you have a baby, you might want to decorate your crib so it is cute, or you might want them to have soft, comfortable objects with which they can snuggle, like blankets, toys and pillows.
However, these items can trap harmful carbon dioxide, which increases the risk of death. Avoiding rebreathing of carbon dioxide is one of the most important step to prevent SIDS.
Even plain pillows and blankets can significantly increase the risk of SIDS. All you need is a firm mattress, and that’s it. Do not use bumper pads; they have been associated with suffocation, asphyxiation and strangulation deaths of infants. Some states have even banned selling them.
Make sure you dress your baby warmly and adequately for the weather. The general rule is to add one more layer than you would have for the bed. Wearable blankets are best suited to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Get a SafeSleep® Crib Mattress
If you need a firm mattress, you should get one from SafeSleep®.
The SafeSleep ® Breathe-Through Crib Mattress has years of research and testing to create a safer, more sanitary sleeping environment for babies. The SafeSleep ® crib mattress is fully and easily washable. It is also hypoallergenic.
According to leading AAP doctors and policymakers, SafeSleep® breathable crib mattress is a scientific answer to “how to prevent SIDS.”
The SafeSleep® Breathe-Through Crib Mattress has been scientifically proven to have the lowest risk of suffocation and carbon dioxide rebreathing. So if your baby needs to sleep on their stomach for any reason, you want a SafeSleep® crib mattress. It’s the only crib mattress physicians write prescriptions for infants who must tummy sleep for health reasons.
Furthermore, the mattress has a 3D air-permeable topper and no core that leads to position pressure, which can cause skull deformities. Both factors will help keep your infant comfortable throughout the night.
And if the mattress is dirty, you can throw the topper in a washing machine and wipe the base! it’s the only completely washable crib mattress on the market.
Lower the Risk of SIDS
Now you know what sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is, why it happens, and how to prevent SIDS, you lower the chances of it happening to your baby.