Updated: Apr 5
Sudden infant death syndrome is not well known to most parents. Baby under 12 months who apparently looks healthy may unexpectedly die when sleeping in a crib, due to not so obvious factors. Those factors are many and varied, with some preventable and some not. Environmental stresses, bad parent behavior or fragile immune system, those numerous causes provoke the death of 200 babies just in the U.K. This post helps you understand what may generate SIDS and how to prevent it.
What are the biggest risk factors?
Most sudden deaths happen at night during the baby asleep. There are several sleep environmental factors that would be good for you to know in order to avoid a SIDS.
For starters, all babies should sleep on their back, because sleeping on their bellies increase the risk of SIDS.
Babies who share a room with the parents have less chance of SIDS but should always sleep in a separate cot or baby crib. Do not sleep with your baby in the same bed. Never sleep on a sofa/armchair with your baby, there is a high risk of fall or suffocation.
Furthermore, there are several physicals factors to account:
One of the most important causes of SIDS is smoking. During pregnancy or after birth, it’s up to 60% of SIDS that is due to smokers who are around the baby. Always keep your baby in smoke free zones.
Also, other factors, that comes into play such as maternal factors. For instance, SIDS are more likely to happen when the mother is younger than 20 years old, smokes cigarettes, consumes drug, alcohol and don’t follow prenatal care. Additionally, you would find another category of factors which may cause SIDS, such as:
Brain problems: Some babies are born with brains not fully developed and more likely to die of SIDS.
Underweight Babies: Babies of premature birth will most likely have difficulties breathing or controlling their heart rate.
Getting Sick: An infant has a very fragile immune system no long after his birth. Having a cold might be fatal when they’re asleep. Or some babies are born with a metabolic disorder and are susceptible to have heart and breathing problems also.
Don’t worry you can prevent those factors!
Place your baby on his back for sleeping. Always be the one to make sure he never sleep on his stomach during his first month, until he can move by his own his face and find his more comfortable position.
Keep the crib as unsophisticated as possible. If the baby sleeps on thick, fluffy liter with heavy pillows and fluffy toys, he might suffocate.
It's a good idea to use a mattress that's firm, flat, waterproof and in good condition
Try to keep your baby cool. Don’t cover your baby’s head at night. Don’t also use extra covers to keep him warm. Your baby should be warm with his sleeping clothes but not hot.
Settle a room temperature up to 20C.
Breast feed: Breastfeeding for the first 6 month lower the risk of SIDS.
Furthermore, do not depend on monitor devices and baby tech. It is usually not effective and can be dangerous for the safety of the baby.