Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sleep

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  • Health (NIH) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) began recommending that babies be placed on their backs to sleep, the number of SIDS fatalities has dropped by over 50 percent.

  • Make sure the baby sleeps on a firm mattress, in a safety-approved crib.

    Soft mattresses, sofas, waterbeds, sheepskins or other soft sleeping surfaces increase the risk of SIDS.

  • Remove soft, fluffy bedding, pillows and stuffed toys from the baby’s sleep area.
  • Make sure the baby’s head and face stay uncovered during sleep.

    If you do use a blanket, keep it away from the baby’s mouth and nose. To use a blanket, make sure the baby’s feet are at the bottom of the crib, that the blanket is no higher than the baby’s chest, and the blanket is tucked in around the bottom of the crib mattress.

  • Ensure that your baby does not become overheated.

    Keep the baby’s room at a temperature that is comfortable for adults, and avoid too many layers of clothing or blankets.

  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bed time.

    Studies show that pacifiers may protect against SIDS. Pacifiers are recommended throughout the first year of life (and after one month of age for breast-fed infants). The pacifier should be used when placing the baby down to sleep, but should not be reinserted once the infant falls asleep. If the infant refuses the pacifier, he or she should not be forced to take it. Pacifiers should be cleaned regularly and should not be coated with sweet substances.

  • Do not allow smoking around your baby.

    Make sure all family members, babysitters and anyone else who cares for the infant knows these tips to reduce the risk of SIDS.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants sleep in a crib, bassinet or cradle in the same room as the parent. Commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS should be avoided, according to the AAP, since they have not been sufficiently tested for safety and effectiveness. The AAP also cautions that home monitors should not be considered an effective strategy to reduce the risk

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