You’ve probably heard of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the unexplained death of an infant less than one-year-old. It’s also dubbed as “cot death” or “crib death” because most of its victims were found in their cribs.
The exact cause of this life-threatening and deadly condition is still unknown. However, most health experts link to abnormalities in the portion of a baby’s brain that is responsible for breathing and arousal from sleep.
Though there is no guarantee that these measures will prevent SIDS, they can help reduce the risk of the infant suffering from such condition.
- Put Your Babies On Their Backs To Sleep
There are some cases wherein infants died of SIDS when they slept on their tummies. When your baby sleeps face down, she has a higher risk of suffering from SIDS. You can turn a posterior baby to help prevent suffocation when they’re sleeping.
Let your baby rest on her stomach when they’re awake, or someone is watching her. Babies who are younger than one year old may have a hard time moving from one position to another. So, when their position impedes their supply of air, they may not be able to turn their heads and bodies to breathe.
- Do Not Let Your Baby Overheat
Overheating may also lead to SIDS. Make sure you don’t overdress your baby. If your baby hates the swaddle, free her hands to make sure she didn’t struggle while she’s asleep. Moreover, make sure the room temperature is comfortable for her.
- Use A Pacifier
There are many studies that have linked the use of a pacifier to a reduced risk of SIDS. Aside from pacifiers, some babies sleep with their mouth open. Make sure you clean your baby’s nostrils of any obstruction to prevent mouth breathing.
- Buy The Right Bedding
Babies should sleep on a firm surface such as a crib mattress covered with a fitted sheet. Avoid using crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and stuffed toys. If it’s cold, make sure you use a blanket sleeper.
Place your baby in the “feet to foot” position, wherein her feet touch the end of the cot or crib. Lastly, make sure her head is uncovered.
- Do Not Co-Sleep With Your Baby
If your child sleeps in the same room, make sure she sleeps in a crib, cot or Moses basket. Do not let your child sleep with you on the same bed. It raises the risk of SIDS for as much as 40 times.
Continue breastfeeding as long as you can because it helps reduce the risk of SIDS too.
SIDS is a silent killer. It can strike any infant. However, some babies are at a higher risk than others.
These measures do not guarantee that your baby will be safe against SIDS. They can help you reduce the risk of your baby suffering from this condition that has affected thousands of infants annually in the United States alone. There are ways to prevent it, and there’s nothing wrong with being vigilant and cautious when it comes to the welfare of your precious one.