Many moms have a fear about leaving their babies alone to sleep at night. They often check on them and watch over them praying they will not stop breathing. It is normal for moms especially new mom to feel anxious during this period of time because everyone has heard of SIDS (Sudden infant Death Syndrome ). It is also known as “crib death, and “cot death. They are aware that it is the leading cause of death in infants under one year old according to First Candle/SIDS Alliance. It is an unexpected and devastating loss to the family. No one should experience this type of loss.
What is SIDS? It is a sudden and unexpected death of an apparent healthy infant. The cause of death is classified as SIDS after a full examination to help gather information, tests run to gather medical history and autopsy is performed where the pathologist cannot determine cause of death.
8 interesting facts about SIDS
- 90% of SIDS death occurs in the first 6 months.
- 60% of SIDS death occurs in boys
- The majority of deaths occurs in African American community and Native American
- Over 2,000 infants die of SIDS in the U.S
- A study published in U.S Today on November 1, 2017 breastfeeding can reduce the risk of SIDS in half
- Room sharing decreases the risk of SIDS to almost half
- 1 out of five babies dies of SIDS in a daycare setting.
- The majority of deaths occur between the hours of 8pm-8pm
In the 1990’s there was a campaign by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) called the Back to Sleep campaign to help reduce the number of deaths of SIDS. As the number of babies sleep on their backs increased, the number of SIDS deaths went down. The campaign helped cut the death of SIDS by 50% by instructing the caregiver to lay their babies on their back when they go to sleep instead of their stomachs.
Now it has been changed to Safe to Sleep, where recommendations are available to parents and caregivers to help reduce the risk of SIDS. For more information on the Safe to Sleep campaign, visit the National Institute of Child Health and Human development at www.nichd.nih.gov/sids/pages/sids.aspx
The risk of SIDS increases when the child does not have a safe crib or mattress. Infants should sleep comfortably in their cribs on a firm surface with no toys, crib bumpers, blankets. If you want to confirm safety of your crib or mattress contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-636-2772. Also you can get information at their website on www.cpsc.gov
Top ten ways to reduce SIDS
- Always place your baby on their backs to sleep. Placing babies on their tummy may increase an infant to re-inhale oxygen depleted air.
- Let the baby fall asleep with pacifier. A study shows that a pacifier can reduce the risk of SIDS
- Keep the crib clear of blankets, pillows, toys. The crib should only have a firm mattress and a fitted sheet.
- Do share the room with the baby not the bed. It is a good idea to have your infant share the same room as the parents during their first year in their own crib. Please do not fall asleep with you baby in your bed.
- There have been reports about swaddling a baby increasing the risk of SIDS. When you further read the study they reported that the risk increased when babies were swaddled on their sides or stomachs. This study reinforces what many pediatricians knew. That it is better to have the baby sleep on their backs to reduce SIDS
- Do not let them get overheated. Especially in the summer let them go to sleep in a t-shirt, pampers and socks. You can replace the t-shirt with a onesie. In winter maybe a sleep sack that resembles a blanket that is wrapped around them. This item makes the baby sleep better and does not interfere with their breathing. Another added feature it keeps them warm.
- Make sure the baby’s head is uncovered.
Pregnant women should receive prenatal care
Breastfeeding is encouraged. Studies show that it may reduce the risk of SIDS in half
- Make sure you baby keep up with all their pediatrician appointments.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have their own SIDS policy. For more information visit www.healthychildren.org/English/news/pages/AAP-Expands-Guidelines-for-Infant-Sleep-Safety-and SIDS-Risk -Reduction.aspx
How to dress your infant to help reduce the risk of SIDS?
1. Do not put on too much clothing on your baby. This increases the risk of SIDS.
2. No hats, extra clothing, blankets in the crib
3. If it's chilly have your infant sleep in a sleep sack, which is a wearable blanket
4. Swaddle your baby in a receiving blanket. A Belguim study says that swaddling helps fussy infants sleep better on their backs and helps reduce the risk of SIDS.
5. Let your baby sleep with a pacifier. Studies have shown that when a baby sleeps with a pacifier it can lower the risk of SIDS.
6. Co-sleeper. This is an infant bed that attaches to the side of an adult bed. It keeps the baby near you in their separate bed and not on your bed where having the baby lay on your bed increases the risk of SIDS.
7. Always make sure the baby's head remains uncovered at all times
8. Keep the room temperature at 68 degrees to 72 degrees Fahrenheit
9. Layers, layers, layers. If its's summer and hot have the baby sleep in a simple t-shirt or onesie, pampers and socks. If it's a little chilly add a swaddling blanket and pants.
10. No hooodies!!!
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