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SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It’s in the back of every new parent’s mind. Nobody wants to think about their baby dying, but sometimes knowing the facts can take away the power and fear of the unknown.
- Most SIDS deaths happen between 1 month and 4 months of age
- SIDS deaths increase in the colder months [likely due to parents using heavy blankets/bedding
- SIDS rates have been dropping steadily since 1994
- Sometimes SIDS is miscategorized as suffocation in bed
- Nonwhite babies have a higher risk of SIDS than white babies [likely due to cultural differences
- SIDS is one of the three SUID [sudden unexplained infant deaths]
- accidental suffocation in bed
Thankfully, there are things that parents can do to SIGNIFICANTLY reduce their SIDS risk.
- If you have the choice, carry your baby to full term. Avoid inductions/c-sections before 40 weeks if they are not medically necessary
- Offer your baby breastmilk if possible. This can be pumped or donor milk
- Keep your baby cool.
- Keep the room at 68-72 degrees
- Make sure your baby is in appropriate layers
- Keep air circulating. Overhead or floor fan, keep windows/doors open
- Use a pacifier
- Keep your baby in your room, but not in your bed
- Keep your baby’s sleep space clear! No stuffed animals, bumpers, loose blankets. Just your baby and a pacifier should be in the crib
- Do not smoke near your baby or allow anyone else who smokes near your baby without washing off and changing their clothes.
- Always place your baby on their back until they can roll back to front by themselves
- Only place your baby on a firm surface. Most crib and bassinet mattresses are designed to be firm for safety.
- Try a Babesafe Mattress cover. This New Zealand baby wrap claims to have eliminated SIDS for it’s purchasers. It’s a less expensive option than purchasing an organic mattress
- The SNOO also claims to eliminate SIDS. This is likely because the swaddle contains no loose blankets and the bassinet provides air flow and is made from nontoxic materials