Guidelines here will give you knowledge to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) when baby sleeps. Each year, 3500 babies die from dreaded SIDS and it can be avoided. When you know a few simple things to do and not to do, you can rest assured that your baby or newborn infant is unharmed sleeping safely.
According to the National Institute of Health, 90% of all SIDS deaths occur before a baby is 6-months old.
The only place a baby should sleep is in his or her own bassinet or crib and nowhere else—it’s easy to do.
Keep your baby’s crib in your bedroom near your bed
Your heavenly gift baby must always sleep in its own separate crib or bassinet in your bedroom for the first 6 months. Never ever put your baby in bed with you because it’s too easy to roll over on the baby and suffocate him. The little one can get tapped or wedged into pillows, blankets, sheets, or items on the bed. Baby can turn over being unable to breathe right and die from SIDS.
When you nurse your baby in bed, always put baby back into the baby’s sleeping place. He or she can slip if and when you nod off and become tangled in bedding.
No toys, pillows, or stuffed animals in bed with baby
If your baby can only fall asleep with his or her special happy toy, that’s okay; however, be sure to remove the toy or fluffy teddy bear so that baby will not have a greater chance to smother himself with it near.
Baby’s sleep positon is vital
Sleeping on their backs is best for babies under 1-year-old. Do not put baby on his or her side where he can roll over onto his stomach. Don’t prop a baby with blankets and pillows either to have him sleep on his side. The baby’s airways can become blocked, clogged, or even congested when on their tummies. When this happens, they cannot breathe and can die. After some time, baby will become accustomed to back sleeping and not object as you continue to emphasize this pattern.
Length of time to sleep baby the safe way
Once again, the National Institute of Health, states that 90% of all SIDS death occur before a baby is 6 months old. That is huge! That means out of every 100 babies, 90 will die and only 10 will live before the age of 6-months from SIDS. That is tragic and need never happen.
The danger for SIDS is so high that it’s recommended you do this with your baby until the age of 1-year and maybe longer.
Strangulation and suffocation in your bed or any unsafe sleeping surface leads to SIDS. The USA has more SIDS deaths than any other country in the world! West Virginia had the most SIDS deaths in the first year of the baby’s life. SIDS is the third cause of death for babies in the USA.
- No smoking in baby’s bedroom, and quit smoking for your baby’s sake and your own longer life.
- Be sure baby’s mattress is firm, not sinking down to support the small body. Be sure it fits tight and close to the sides of the crib, bassinette, or cradle.
- If you use a cradle sometimes passed down in families, be sure it does not sit on a cold floor or near drafts. Be sure it is secure when elevated to not tip over.
- Babies should not sleep with loving siblings who can roll over on them or sleep with pets.
More safety methods for baby’s bed or playpen/play yard
- Never put pillows, thick quilts, and toys in a baby’s sleep setting or play yard.
- No gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
- The baby’s crib must be put together according to the User’s Manual instructions following each method laid out. Don’t guess at which way the sidebars should go; putting them in backwards will cause baby to suffocate. Always call the manufacturer for assistance when unsure.
- Crib manufacturing has changed over the last 10 years with better construction design to prevent suffocation. Don’t use an older bed with gaps, loose parts, or broken slats and support bars. They can get their tiny heads between slats unable to get out and suffocate to death.
- Do not use bumper pads that tie to the sides of the bars. They will kill babies.
- Assemble the baby’s playpen/play yard using the instructions in the User’s Manual line item by line item. Use only the mattress supplied never adding extra padding, bedding, or pillows.
- Never ever never put the baby’s crib, bassinet, play yard near a window period. The cords to vertical blinds, Levolor® blinds, curtain/drape cords, or even baby monitor cords can strangle the baby.
- If a baby is old enough to stand up near a window, he/she could break the glass, and if screened, fall out to suffer injuries or even death.
- Always use common sense and be aware of your baby’s total surroundings for safety.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Although sudden infant death syndrome can strike any infant, researchers have identified several factors that may increase a baby’s risk. They include:
Maternal risk factors
During pregnancy, the mother also affects the risk of SIDS, especially if she:
- Is younger than 20
- Smokes cigarettes
- Uses drugs or alcohol
- Has inadequate prenatal care
Following the suggestions above will reduce the risk for SIDS to see your baby grow up and have babies of their own.