Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden unexplained death of a child less than one year old. Sudden infant death syndrome usually occurs during sleep. A safe sleep environment helps reduce the baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Same Room, Different Bed
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend having an infant sleep in an adult bed with a parent or caregivers because of the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and accidental infant suffocation. The AAP recommends sharing a room without sharing a bed.
Place Your Baby on His or Her Back
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that babies be placed on their backs for naps or night sleeps. According to CDC, even if a baby spits up during sleep, babies’ anatomy and gag reflex help prevent them from choking while sleeping on their backs. Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their sides or stomachs.
The baby’s bed shouldn’t be soft and inclined, and the bed shouldn’t contain anything that could increase the baby’s risk of suffocation, such as pillows, blankets or toys. A firm, flat sleep surface and a fitted sheet should be used. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping pillows and blankets out of the sleeping area for at least the first 12 monthsIf you are worried about your baby getting cold, you can use awearable blanket. Even after your baby has turned 1, small sized blankets made of breathable fabrics such as muslin should be preferred and care should be taken to ensure that the blanket is placed no higher than chest level.
Check Your Baby for Signs of Overheating
Overheating can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Babies should be checked for signs of overheating such as sweating, a hot chest or flushed skin during sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that your baby only needs one more layer than you would wear in the same environment to be comfortable.
- Safe sleep: Recommendations.
- Moon RY. How to keep your sleeping baby safe: AAP policy explained.
- Moon, R. Y., Carlin, R. F., Hand, I., & TASK FORCE ON SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME AND THE COMMITTEE ON FETUS AND NEWBORN (2022). Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2022 Recommendations for Reducing Infant Deaths in the Sleep Environment. Pediatrics, 150(1), e2022057990. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2022-057990
- Helping babies sleep safely.