What is SIDS?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden unexplained death of a child less than 12 months of age. We know that anything unexplained and mysterious when it comes to your baby’s safety is anxiety-inducing for any parent. But, that’s why we’re here! To provide you with simple, research-backed ways you can prevent the risk of SIDS and provide the safest sleeping habits for your child. The Baby Box Co. free safe sleep course includes expert education about these and many other safe sleep practices.
8 Tips To Reduce the Risk of SIDS
1. Always Put Your Baby On Their Back
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends always putting your baby to sleep on their back. As they grow and become stronger, they will be able to roll over, and that’s ok! Just be sure that they’re put to sleep on their backs all the way up until they’re 12 months old.
2. Use a Firm Sleeping Surface In An Approved Safe Sleep Space
Babies require a firm and flat surface and while dozing off on the couch might be nice for you, it’s a rule of thumb to never let your baby sleep on a couch, sofa, pillow, blanket, or waterbed. Always put your baby down on a firm safe-sleep-approved surface (like your Baby Box!).
3. Breastfeed Your Baby
If it’s part of your plan, breastfeeding your baby is shown to lower the risk of SIDS. One word of caution: when you’re breastfeeding a night, it’s okay to bring the baby to bed with you—just be to safely transition the baby back to their safe sleeping surface.
4. Room Share For Six Months (Or Longer)
The new recommendation from the American Academy for Pediatrics is for parents to room share for at least six months to reduce the risk of SIDS. Babies should have a separate sleeping surface, such as a bassinet or baby, close to the parents.
5. Keep The Safe Sleep Space Empty
Your baby’s sleep space should be completely empty aside from a fitted sheet and firm mattress. Avoid blankets, pillows, stuffed animals (even the cute ones!) and crib bumpers as they are all unnecessary for safe sleep and are a suffocation hazard.
7. Give Your Baby a Pacifier for Naps and Bedtime
After the breastfeeding relationship is well-established, consider offering your child a pacifier before naps and bedtime. Pacifiers are shown to help reduce the risk of SIDS, but don’t worry—you don’t need to replace it if it falls out during sleep.
8. Dress Your Baby in Layers (Without Overheating Them)
Babies don’t have the ability to regulate their temperature like we do. And, while bundling them up for bed might be tempting, try to follow this easy tip: your baby should be wearing as many layers as you are, plus one! If you notice that they’re sweating or if their chest feels hot, simply remove a layer of clothing.
The Simple Dos and Don’ts of Safe Sleep
To help you create a safe sleeping environment to reduce the risks of SIDS, here are some simple dos and don’ts of safe sleeping.
- Place baby on his or her back to sleep for naps and nighttime.
- Use a safety-approved mattress that is firm and designed for infant sleep.
- Keep toys, blankets, and other objects out of the sleeping area.
- Select sleep clothing that keeps baby warm, but not overheated.
- Keep baby’s sleep area in the same room as the parents for at least the first 6 months.
- Use loose fitting sheets in the crib.
- Place pillows, blankets, sheepskins, or crib bumpers in your child’s sleep area.
- Smoke around baby or allow anyone to smoke around the child.
- Cover your baby’s head in any way
Allow baby to sleep in an adult’s bed or on any soft surface, including couches
Learn more health and safety tips for you and baby, from our free parenting classes.