SIDS stands for sudden infant death syndrome. It is also termed as crib death and occurs in 1% of all infants between the ages of 2-4 months. It is very common in babies who are under 6 months of age. The baby dies in his sleep more often at night without any underlying explanation.
Autopsies and reports are not able to identify a realistic cause. Some theories have postulated that SIDS occurs when babies sleep on their tummies, which prevents them from breathing correctly. Loose bedding can hamper the child’s ability to breathe effectively; suffocating the child and leading to SIDS. Here are some steps that you can take to prevent SIDS.
Tips For Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Let your Baby Sleep on his/her Back
The best way of preventing SIDS is to let your baby sleep on its back. Young infants should also not be allowed to sleep on their sides. Sleeping on their side doubles their risk of SIDS. This occurs because infants who sleep on their sides often end up in the tummy position and are too small to turn on their backs again. By the time the child is six months of age and has started to roll over, his risk of SIDS begins to diminish. This is because they can roll over from their tummies to their backs. Make sure that there is nothing soft in the bed, which may bury the baby’s nose and may cause him/her to suffocate while sleeping.
Take Good Care of yourself While Pregnant
Make sure you eat and sleep well while pregnant. Premature babies are more at risk for SIDS than full term babies. This is primarily because of their vulnerability. Make sure you consume a nutritious diet and exercise during your pregnancy to ensure that your baby is in the pink of health.
Do not Allow Smoking around the Baby
Second hand smoke is known to cause SIDS in young infants. It directly affects the child’s lung functioning and his/her ability to breathe. Make sure that the child’s home environment is smoke free. Insist on other people not smoking when the baby is present.
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Choose the Correct Bedding
The child should sleep in the right bedding. Ideally, children should be asked to sleep in their own cots. Make sure that the mattress is firm. The sheets should be well tucked into the mattress. The sheets should not be too soft or foamy. A sufficiently firm pillow will ensure comfortable breathing for the child.
Avoid Over Heating
The tendency of most mothers is to over clothe the baby. Avoid this. Let the baby wear loose cotton clothes if the temperature is warm. Make sure that the room is cool and well ventilated. This will allow the baby to take in fresh air.
Limit the Baby’s Exposure to Infection
The baby should at all times be protected from lung infections, colds and flu, which will put him/her at risk for SIDS. Make sure that the baby stays away from people who have an infection. Breast-feeding the baby will increase its immunity and cut the risk of infection by almost half.