A parent's greatest fear: SIDS
Why are new parents so scared of SIDS? Many likely feel like SIDS was something they could not control. However, there are many resources available about SIDS prevention. We now teach parents about a safe sleeping environment instead of SIDS because in the majority of sudden unexplained infant deaths (SUID) the infant is found in an unsafe sleeping environment.
What you can do to provide a safe sleeping environment for your baby:
- Always place your baby on their back for sleeping, even for naps, but remember they need “tummy time” while they are awake and playing.
- Always place your baby on a firm surface when sleeping. No fluffy or heavy blankets, toys, positioning aids or bumper pads in the crib.
- Never share a bed with your baby, consider sharing a room.
- Do not allow your baby to become overheated while sleeping.
- Do not allow smoking around your baby, this also includes while you are pregnant.
- Offer a clean pacifier during nap and sleep times. If you are breastfeeding wait until your baby is over a month old and breastfeeding is well established before offering a pacifier.
- Make sure you discuss safe sleeping environment with all child care providers, including grandparents and baby sitters. Babies that are accustomed to sleeping on their back will have a higher risk for SUID if placed on their tummy for sleep.
As a new parent, SIDS is a real fear, but by following the above recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the risk is lowered significantly. For more information about safe sleeping, please visit http://www.healthychildren.org/ and search for "safe sleep."