Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the most common cause of death among babies who are one month to one year old. Since the back to sleep campaign has been implemented, the rate of SIDS has dropped significantly. While you should be aware of SIDS, it can be easy to become obsessed with the thought of something happening to your baby in the middle of the night, to the point of losing your sleep over it. Knowing how to reduce the risk is powerful and can help ease your mind.
What Exactly is SIDS?
First, you should know what SIDS. This unfortunate event is an unexplained incident of a baby under one year of age, and doesn’t have a known cause even after a complete investigation. When a baby passes away, law enforcement, health care providers, and communities will try to figure out why. The professionals will ask questions, provide an examination of the baby, run tests, and gather information. However, sometimes they can’t find a cause and they will leave the cause of death as “unknown”.
Positioning Your Baby in Bed to Prevent SIDS
You will hear a lot of advice when you have a baby. Some of that advice can be dangerous, especially when people tell you how to let your baby sleep. Following the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and advice from your pediatrician, you can ensure your baby will be safe when it comes to sleep. Some people think just because their children were fine not following expert advice, then yours will be. Unfortunately, it’s not the case for every family.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to position a baby on their back when you put them down to sleep, even for naps during the day. Experts say that once your baby can roll front to back, and back to front, babies should be okay sleeping on their belly if they end up that way on their own. There’s no reason to worry if you place your baby to sleep on her back and then she rolls to her belly – you can leave her like that – as she will know how to roll back over.
It’s also important not to place your baby in a crib with loose sheets, blankets, pillows, toys, or anything else. It may be tempting to cover your little one up with a blanket, but dressing your baby for the temperature of your home will be enough.
Will Baby Choke When Sleeping on Their Back?
Many parents are concerned that when their babies are sleeping on their back, they may choke. This is an understandable worry; however, healthy babies will naturally cough up or swallow fluids – it’s a reflex that we all have. In fact, for extra reassurance – It’s good to kknow that babies may be able to clear fluids even better while they’re sleeping on their back due to the location of the opening and their lungs, along with the relation to the opening of their stomach. It’s important to know that there hasn’t been any increase in choking in babies who sleep on their backs.
Busting SIDS Myths
Putting your little one down to sleep should be as stress-free as possible. With all the myths circulating the internet, it doesn’t make it any easier. Here are some common myths so you can ensure you’re always making the right choice:
Myth 1 – Cribs Cause SIDS or “crib death”
Fact: There’s no reason to be scared of letting your baby sleep in a crib. A crib itself doesn’t cause SIDS. However, features of the enviroment such as a mattress that’s too soft or loose items in the crib could increase the risk of SIDS.
Myth 2 – Babies Can Catch SIDS
Fact: A baby can’t catch SIDS. It’s not an infection. It’s an unfortunate event that can take place unexpectedly.
Myth 3 – SIDS can be prevented
Fact: There’s not a 100% way to prevent SIDS. Thankfully, there are several ways to reduce the risk.
Myth 4 – SIDS can occur at any age
Fact: Babies are at risk until they reach one year of age. In most cases of SIDS, it will occur between one and fourth months. SIDS isn’t a concern after babies reach one year old.
If you are someone who worries about SIDS, we hope you find this information helpful. Please share so you can help ease the minds of other moms who may also be living with the constant worry.