Safe Infant Sleeping & Preventing SIDS

Friday, October 19, 2012 11:46 AM comments (0)

It can often be a relief when you finally get your infant down to sleep for the night (or even just a couple of hours!). A parent's worst nightmare is learning that your baby stopped breathing in his or her sleep. 

Although rare, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can happen even when all the right safety measures are practiced. The exact cause of SIDS is unknown and there often isn't much that can be done in advance to avoid it. SIDS is most common in infants less than six months of age.

Even though there may not be much that can be done to avoid SIDS, it is important for parents and caregivers to practice bedroom safety measures to reduce the odds of other injuries or problems. William MacKendrick, MD, Neonatologist at NorthShore, provides the following recommendations for putting an infant to bed safely:

  • Place your baby on his or her back in the crib.
  • Use a firm mattress and don't place anything other than your infant in the crib. All toys, sheets, blankets, pillows and other materials should stay out of the crib as they can be unsafe and hazardous. Crib bumpers are also not recommended.
  • Keep your baby away from smoke. If you smoke, don't do so in the house or car. Fumes from smoking can increase a baby's risk for breathing problems.
  • Avoid co-sleeping (sleeping in the same bed) with your infant.

How do you promote safe sleeping conditions for your baby?

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