How to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

How to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one of the most devastating conditions to impact infants, and the rates of this condition are only increasing among babies today. SIDS, also know as “blue baby” or “cot death” occurs when a previously healthy infant dies in their sleep.

One of the most unfortunate parts of SIDS is that we still don’t know the exact cause of SIDS, and that many times it can simply occur in otherwise healthy infants. There is some research that shows that most infants that die of SIDS have underlying brainstem abnormalities. This abnormality prevents babies from responding appropriately to a lack of oxygen.

However, what we do know is that there are a few sleeping tips that can help reduce the risk of babies succumbing to SIDS.

Babies should always sleep alone on their back and in a crib. This is the safest way for your baby to sleep. There are some mothers who want to sleep with their babies when breastfeeding, and while it is good for moms to sleep in the same room as their baby—they should not be sleeping in the same bed as their infant.

The best way to remember this safe sleeping approach is to remember the ABCs of SIDS.

  • Babies should always sleep alone, you should never sleep with your baby in a bed or on the couch as there is a significant risk for suffocation.
  • Babies should always sleep on their backs. There are parents who are worried that their baby will choke if they spit up while sleeping on their back. However, neurologically, healthy babies cannot choke on their own spit-up, even when sleeping on their backs.
  • All babies should sleep in a crib. Remember, when sleeping in a crib, babies need to be alone in their crib. There should be nothing but a tight-fitting crib sheet. This means no bumper, no stuffed animals and no blankets. You should never use a blanket in your baby’s bed, unless they have been properly swaddled with a swaddling baby.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that research shows that breastfeeding has actually been shown to reduce the likelihood of an infant succumbing to SIDS.

A proper sleeping environment is essential to your infant’s health and can be your best defense against SIDS. If you have questions about SIDS, proper sleeping situations, or your baby’s health, contact Continuum Pediatrics today to make an appointment. You can call us directly at 817-617-8600.

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