In the last 10 years the US has made real progress in reducing the number of babies who dies from SIDS, but the rate is still too high.
What is SIDS?
SIDS is the unexplained death of a baby under the age of one year.
Who is at risk?
Babies under the age of one year.
What can you do?
1. Babies should always be placed on their back for sleep.
2. There should be no loose blankets, stuffed animals or anything at all in bed with the baby.
3. Baby’s mattress should be firm with a tight fitting sheet.
4. The majority of the baby’s sleep should take place in the crib or bassinet where the baby is lying flat. Sleeping in such things as a car seat, swing or stroller can put the baby in a position where there is a risk of suffocation.
5. Room sharing without bed sharing is best. However, if parents choose to bed share:
a) The mattress should be firm.
b) The parents should not be excessively tired, smoke cigarettes or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
c) The sleeping should only take place in a proper bed; not on a couch or reclining chair.
d) Bed sharing should not take place with anyone but the parent(s).
6. Mothers should try to breastfeed for a minimum of six months.
7. Pacifier use at bedtime (not attached to anything.)
8. Baby’s sleep environment should be kept at 68 degrees and the baby should be dressed appropriately for that temperature. The baby should also be checked for perspiration or hot to the touch.
9. Pregnant woman should have regular pre-natal check-ups.
10. Baby’s immunizations should be kept up to date.
11. Anything marketed as reducing the risk of SIDS, should not be used.
12. Don’t give honey to a baby under the age of one, due to the risk of botulism and the relationship of botulism with SIDS
Also counteract back sleeping with tummy time during the day to aid with baby’s development.
For more information on SIDS please visit http:// www.nichd.nih.gov/SIDS
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Angela Walsh is a Family Sleep Institute, Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant, and the founder of Babes in Sleepland. She helps sleep deprived babies, children and families, get back on track and get the sleep they need and desire. To learn more about Angela and how she can help you, visit her website: babesinsleepland.com Also get sleep tips, the latest research on baby and child products, and be part of her weekly Q and A at her Facebook page: Babes in Sleepland