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SIDS Prevention

Updated on November 4, 2013

SIDS Prevention: Learn how to Prevent SIDS

SIDS prevention is one of the most important things that new parents should learn. Nearly 3,000 healthy babies die of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, each year in the US alone. Learning how to prevent SIDS with such things as the back to sleep campaign should be a priority for every parent of a newborn baby. While so little is still known about SIDS, there are things you can do in order to significantly reduce your baby's risk. Here you will learn how to prevent SIDS.

*Photo: My third baby minutes after delivery.

SIDS Prevention Tips - How to prevent SIDS

  1. Prenatal Care - You can help prevent SIDS by taking care of your pregnant body. Take your prenatal vitamins, eat healthy, walk or do some other light but consistent exercise, and carry your baby as close to full term as possible (preterm babies have a higher rate of SIDS than full term babies). The most important thing you can do while pregnant to avoid SIDS is to not smoke and to avoid second hand smoke.
  2. Air Circulation - Having air movement in the room where baby sleeps is the main way you can prevent SIDS. Most doctors agree that a ceiling fan in baby's room is the best way to have the necessary air circulation. If you do not have a ceiling fan, then the next best option is to have a small fan facing either a wall or the ceiling so the air can bounce off and circulate around the room.
  3. Back to Sleep - The back to sleep campaign, that is when the medical community began telling all new parents to place babies on their backs to sleep, has significantly reduced the incidence of SIDS. The thought is when babies sleep on their tummies, they breath in too much of the carbon dioxide that they naturally breathe out and this can potentially cause SIDS. Where as, sleeping on their backs, the carbon dioxide escapes into the room's atmosphere rather than remaining between the baby's face and mattress to be inhaled back in.
  4. Breathable Bumpers - Bumpers are cute, but they are a SIDS hazard. The adorable little bumpers that come with your baby's bedding shouldn't even leave the packaging. You don't need them and they prevent air flow from the crib. Either use no bumpers at all, or if you must, use breathable bumpers.
  5. Avoid Cigarettes - Keep your baby from second hand smoke in order to prevent SIDS. There should be no smoking inside the baby's home at all.
  6. Have Baby Sleep on an Elevated Surface Your baby should be sleeping on a bed or in a crib or bassinet. Never place a baby on the floor to sleep. Harmful gasses and fumes tend to linger around the floor. These fumes wouldn't be enough to harm a grown adult or school age child, but could cause a baby to die of SIDS.
  7. Breastfeed - Breastfed babies have a much lower rate of SIDS than bottle fed babies and exclusively breastfed babies have the lowest rate of SIDS over all. Learn more by checking out the 8 reasons breastfeeding reduces SIDS.
  8. Don't Overheat Baby Take care not to overheat your baby. Keep your baby's room temperature comfortable and take care not to overdress or overbundle your baby.
  9. Dr Sears Recommend "High Touch" Attachment Parenting - This means you keep a close watch over your newborn and check on him often. You may even choose to have baby sleep in a bassinet in your room for the first 4 months.
  10. Keep Baby's Bed Safe - Your baby's crib mattress should be firm. The crib should be free of pillows, soft bedding, and stuffed animals. Do not create a protective valley of pillows around your baby.

SIDS Prevention Tips - How to prevent SIDS

Baby Monitors to Prevent SIDS

Angelcare Movement Monitor - Angelcare baby monitor

The Angelcare monitor has long been nicknamed the SIDS proof monitor. It has a sensor that you place under baby's mattress. If your baby has no movement at all (including breathing) for 20 seconds then an alarm will sound to alert you. This particular monitor also features a room thermometer since baby's body temperature is another factor in the risk of SIDS.

More Angelcare Monitors - Choose the right Angelcare monitor for your family

Angelcare Monitors on eBay

Get a great deal on an Angelcare monitor on eBay.

Video Baby Monitors - Baby monitors with video

When we discovered we were expecting our first baby, we decided on a video monitor. Words can't even begin to describe the amount of comfort and reassurance I received from our baby's video monitor. When mounted high on the wall and pointing down at the baby, I could even look at the monitor to watch the baby safely breathing. Babies make so many various sounds in their sleep that its often hard to tell if they are sleeping or awake and a video monitor takes the guesswork out of it. I still use our video monitor in our three year old's room. It's nice to be able to peak in on him any time I need to.

Angelcare Video Monitor - Angelcare monitor with video

This monitor is the best of both worlds. It combines the Angelcare trademark motion sensor detection with the sense of security only a video monitor can provide. I highly recommend this monitor if your budget will allow for it.

Breathable Bumpers

Breathable Bumpers - SIDS proof baby bumpers

It may surprise you to learn that bumpers are not necessary. Baby bumpers are simply for looks. While they are cute and most moms use them to decorate the nursery, they are not safe. Not only can baby suffocate against the bumpers, even if baby stays in the center of the crib the bumpers prevent good air circulation from flowing through the crib (a huge risk factor for SIDS).

I didn't use bumpers at all with my first two babies, but with my third, her arms and legs kept falling through the slats and she had trouble getting them back inside the crib. So, I bought breathable bumpers. They solved her problem by keeping her limbs safely in the crib, but without the increase risk of SIDS.

Baby Wedges

Have Baby Sleep Inclided - Baby sleeping on an incline reduces risk of SIDS

Sleeping with the baby's head slightly elevated greatly reduces the risk of SIDS. This position opens the passage ways, making it easier to breath. It also prevents the baby from aspirating spit up into the lungs. If the medical community is right with one of their major hypotheses regarding a cause of SIDS in which an abnormality of the medulla oblingata causes the baby to stop breathing while sleeping, then an infant wedge can save a lot of lives. Sleeping in this elevated position takes pressure off of the baby's brain stem which helps alleviate the symptoms caused by this condition.

Did I Answer All of Your Questions Regarding SIDS Prevention? - Thank you for visiting

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    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 5 years ago

      great information provided.. i search before choosing a topic to write on, if you didn't have this great page here, i'd write about it.. :) it's an important topic, and unfortunately yet not so popular among young parents, at least in my part of the world..

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

      Well, I didn't have any questions but you have provided a good resource for those who do have questions.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Sids really is such a sad fact of infant death. Thankfully they are discovering ways to reduce the incidence of this sad event. A wonderful choice in articles of awareness needs.