The 9 Most Important Sleeping Tips For SIDS Prevention
Tragically over the past 20 years, infant sleep deaths have remained stubbornly stuck at about 3600/year. Find out how to prevent SIDS.
After the launch of the Back to Sleep campaign in the US in 1992, SIDS-related deaths dropped dramatically… until 1999. Tragically, over the past 20 years infant sleep deaths have remained stubbornly stuck at about 3600/year. But why? With all the “smart” baby gadgets of today you would think this number would remain low.
Providing a safe sleep environment is the single most important step you can take to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS. But it is only one important step, out of many:
1. Sleep on back, safely
Only put your baby to sleep on the back, in a safe location. Never let them sleep on a couch, recliner, sofa, armchair, beanbag chair or waterbed.
2. Room in
Sleep in the same room as your baby for the first six months. Place them in a bassinet right near you. Being very tired gives parents the same brain impairment as being drunk. (That’s why exhaustion causes as many car accidents as excessive drinking!) Don’t sleep with your baby in your bed for at least the first nine months.
3. Beware of gaps
Don’t use cribs with missing slats or a space between the mattress and the side wall where your baby’s head might get trapped.
It reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, find a support group or hire a lactation consultant to help.
5. Have a smoke-free house and car
Don’t smoke or allow others to do so who come in contact with your baby. Also, avoid wood stoves, incense, scented candles, and fireplaces, unless the room is well vented.
6. Keep your baby from overheating or getting too cold
Keep the room at 20–22.2°C. Worried that your baby may need extra bundling? An easy way to test is to touch your baby’s ears. They should feel slightly warm… not cold or hot.
7. White noise and swaddle
Always use white noise and snug swaddling for all naps and nighttime sleep, until they can rollover.
8. Offer a dummy for sleeping
Studies have found this reduces the risk by up to 90 percent!
9. No sleeping upright
Don’t let your baby sleep sitting up in a car seat, infant carrier or upright swing (especially if they’re premature or developmentally delayed).
Unfortunately, there’s no absolute way to prevent the tragedy of SIDS, but following these tips can keep your baby safer and help put your mind at ease.