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Tips to avoid the risk of crib death or SIDS

Updated on March 24, 2011

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death or SIDS

There are no scientific causes and explanation to crib death and research is still going on regarding it; that being said, it is better to have safety precautions when the baby is sleeping and this is better than not doing anything at all.

I was reading an article the other day and came about a story of the death of an infant that made the parents sad beyond consolation. Their baby died two months ago without really knowing what the cause of the death is. It was later ruled out that it was crib death. That made me do research and read about crib death and its causes. I want to contribute to the topic and I learned some interesting findings about it.

As parents, we want to protect our child and do the most we can so as to avoid unhealthy practices for our children, much more to avoid risk of any death like crib death.

What is crib death or SIDS?

It is also called sudden infant disease syndrome (SIDS) or cot death ---it is a syndrome or the sudden death of an infant (less than 12 months) that is unexpected and remains unexplained after a thorough forensic autopsy and a detailed death scene investigation. It is termed cot death in United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, India, South Africa and New Zealand. Usually, the infant is found dead and no explanation for the death after autopsy whatsoever or investigation of the area where the baby is sleeping or examination of the baby medical history (baby and family).

picture courtesy of
picture courtesy of

The Crib Death or SIDS and Tips on How To Avoid It

Australia and New Zealand changed the name to the term Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI) for professional, scientific and coronial clarity. The term SUDI is now often used instead of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) because some coroners prefer to use the term ‘undetermined’ for a death previously considered to be SIDS. This change is causing diagnostic shift in the mortality data. According to Dr. John Kattwinkel, chairman of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Special Task Force on SIDS "A lot of us are concerned that the rate (of SIDS) isn't decreasing significantly, but that a lot of it is just code shifting

Researches are trying to ascertain whether there is predisposition for crib death. Little is known about the actual causes of crib death, although it has been recommended that you should put the baby at its back while sleeping, little has been determined if what really are the cause of crib death. It might be a function of sex, ethnicity, education and socio-economic condition of the parents. Vaccination has nothing to do with it.

Some probable causes researches are positing are deficiency in nutrients of the mother, or some kind of physical trauma when the baby is born or some abnormal structure of the brain etc. or most importantly the conditions when the baby is sleeping (whether the baby sleep in the stomach or back.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death:

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 1 ---- When the infant is sleeping or taking a nap, check on the bedroom temperature. Dress the baby appropriately not too warm or too cold.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 2 -- Don’t smoke or exposed your infant to smokers before or after the baby is born.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 3 -- Keep the baby’s head and face uncovered during the duration of their sleep. Don’t use any blanket to cover the baby as this might cause suffocation. If you are going to use any sheet, be sure the baby’s feet is at the crib bottom.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 4 -- Remove or other clothes or sheet within the crib

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 5 -- Place the baby in a firm mattress and not on soft uneven one

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 6 -- Always place the baby in his back when he is sleeping or taking a nap

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 7 -- Baby should be allowed supervised stomach time too, and avoid flat surface on the back of his head.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 8 -- Avoid smoking and be healthy when you are pregnant

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 9 -- Always take prenatal when immediately when you suspect that you are pregnant already. Eat nutritious food and avoid smoking. This is important because according to some researches, nutritional deficiency in the mother might be a cause of crib death. Pre natal is also good so that you can take care of yourself and the baby in your womb.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 10 -- Avoid sleeping with an infant in the same bed, and avoid leaving the infant alone, check on them always if they are sleeping.

If you know somebody who are the caregivers of an infant share these findings to them.


American Academy of Pediatrics

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Wikipedia Sudden Infant Disease Syndrome


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    • NateSean profile image

      NateSean 7 years ago from Salem, MA

      I'm glad there is a hub dedicated to this topic.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      hi habee, I am glad you like tghis one and you find it useful. It is indeed scary, Maita

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Great advice! This scares me so much. I lost a niece to this, and I worry constantly about my grands until they reach their first birthday.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      thank you too Bostons First for reading my hub, hope you have a good weekend, Maita

    • Boston's First profile image

      Boston's First 8 years ago

      very good tips thank you very much

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      yes I believe you habee no rest indeed, and it is scary too, thnaks for reading this hub, I hope this hub helps you Maita

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      SIDS scares the heck out of me! I have a 5-month-old grandson and another grandchild on the way. I don't think a mother or grandmother ever rests easy until the kids are over a year old. Great tips!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      thnaks a lot Infantry Mom, and for the read too, I am happy that this hub will help people a lot specially caregivers, Maita

    • Army Infantry Mom profile image

      Army Infantry Mom 8 years ago

      This is a Great hub Maita. My sister just had a baby a couple of weeks ago,..I will definately email her this link,..

      Parents need all the tips they can get and you provided a lot of good ones,..Thanks !!!!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      thanks DOHN< LOL, somewhere out there you might have a baby, just kidding, thanks for the read, Maita

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thank you for bringing this to light, Maita. You did a great job on this hub. Although I don't have any kids (that I'm aware of :D ) I don't want to imagine what parents go through after finding their daughter or son who'd suffered such a fate as this. Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      thanks torimari, it is scary really, Maita

    • torimari profile image

      torimari 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      SID always was such a scary thing to me. Great tips and advice~

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      hi Rev, yes, it is scary Rev, oh where did you worked before, any agency?\

      Thanks for reading this hub< maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hi carolina, how are you, thanks for dropping by, maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hi xunlei, thanks for the read here, Maita

    • RevLady profile image

      RevLady 8 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      Great suggestions.

      One thing I learned when I worked in infant mortality research, and conducted home interviews with mothers who suffered the loss of their babies due to SIDS, is that most parents are responsible and practice safety habits. Some parents who noticed the change in their infants coloring and rushed them to the hospital, still lost the child.

      Unfortunately, SIDS remain inexplicable.

      Great read!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      I agree with you BK on this one, the environemt had gone toxic these days too, thanks for the read, maita

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      These are important ideas, Maita!!! Great post.

    • xunlei profile image

      xunlei 8 years ago


      it is great !

      I will keep you posted!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      As always - we need to look at diet and environment.

      Feeding babies this awful formula garbage can't be beneficial - we also know that indoor air can be more toxic than outdoor air - and whose idea was it to put newborns in a nursery away from mom and dad? It makes no sense. We are intuned to our babies - but we can't hear them if they stop breathing if they are in another room.

      And here's something: my lovely daughter-in-law has a bearded dragon (lizard) in a large tank in their living room but when they put up their live Christmas tree they knew it best to move the lizard far away so it would not smell the pine. How many adults think about what their babies are breathing in? Our carpet, the VOC from paint in a freshly painted nursery, the material the crib is made of, vinyl floor tiles, etc. all this outgasses toxic fumes.

      Thanks for this reminder. I suspect we cannot find the true cause because we are looking in the wrong places. The baby is not ill, the environment is.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      thanks pddm67 for the read, and for your informartion about apnea, have a good day, Maita

    • pddm67 profile image

      pddm67 8 years ago from Queens, New York

      Great article pretty. Wonderful advice. Every new mother's worst nightmare. When my children were born, I was always checking on them when they were sleeping or napping. I even read an article somewhere that it could possibly be a form of sleep apnea in babies similar to that in an adult where they stop breathing in their sleep. Adults will resume their breathing after a minute or so but maybe the babies are not as developed to do so. Damn- wish I remember where I saw that. Well done.


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