Understanding and Preventing SIDS: Essential Tips for Safe Infant Sleep
Updated: Oct 3
At Yaya, we don't just care about finding the best help for your family; we're dedicated to the overall well-being of your little ones. So today, we're tackling a topic that could be on the minds of many parents - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), read below on some important tips for safe infant sleep.
SIDS, often termed as cot death or crib death, is the unexpected passing of a seemingly healthy baby during sleep. Understanding SIDS and the precautionary measures against it is critical for every caregiver. That's why we're bringing you vital insights directly from our neonatologist paediatrician, an expert in newborn care.
Ninety percent of SIDS deaths occur within the first 6 months of life
What is SIDS? SIDS typically occurs when a healthy infant aged 0-6 months passes away suddenly during sleep. The cause remains elusive as it happens inexplicably, always during sleep - either a nap or at night. As such, it doesn't occur when the baby is awake.
How prevalent is SIDS? Thanks to numerous prevention campaigns, particularly in the '90s, which discouraged the practice of placing babies on their stomachs for sleep, we've seen a significant reduction in SIDS. In the United States, about 1248 healthy babies succumb to SIDS each year, with an incidence rate of approximately 0.04% in 2020.
How can we prevent SIDS? SIDS is not entirely preventable, but there are actions you can take to significantly lower the risk:
Back to Sleep: Always put your baby to sleep on their back. This simple practice can reduce the risk of sudden death by a whopping 75%!
Bedtime Basics: Use a firm mattress and avoid pillows. Dress your baby in a "sleep sack" to keep them comfortable without the need for extra blankets. Keep the crib clutter-free - limit soft toys to just one.
Sleep Environment: Maintain the room temperature between 18°C and 20°C and keep the baby in the same room as you until they're 6 months old.
Say No to Smoke: If anyone in your household smokes, ensure it's not inside the house. Cigarette smoke can pose a risk factor.
Safe Co-Sleeping: While it's risky to have your baby sleep in the same bed as you, co-sleeping can be a safe alternative. This involves adding an extension cradle to your bed, allowing proximity to your baby without the risk of accidental smothering.
What about SIDS prevention products? Certain products, like connected cots, have emerged claiming to reduce the risk of SIDS. They come with built-in microphones to detect baby's cries and automatic rocking features, ensuring babies stay on their backs. However, our neonatologist advises that these tools aren't necessarily more effective than following the recommendations above. Sticking to these guidelines could be just as beneficial and less stress-inducing.
At Yaya, we're all about arming you with the knowledge you need to provide the safest care for your children. For more safety tips, read up on First Aid for Kids. Stay tuned for more essential tips and advice.