Every year, thousands of healthy infants from around the world die for unspecified reasons. One night the mother will just wake up to find that her baby is no longer breathing. Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, is a nightmare for any parent, so we should be alert early on.
What is SIDS?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is more commonly known as ‘crib death,’ as it usually occurs in sleeping babies. This is the third leading cause of mortality in infants.
According to research, infants six months old below are more at risk for SIDS than toddlers. In addition, infants with low birth weight, respiratory infections, or inborn brain defects are at higher risk for SIDS.
Can SIDS be avoided? As a parent, what can we do to protect our baby from this? Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of SIDS in your baby.
Avoid laying the baby on his stomach
Whenever possible, avoid letting your baby fall asleep facing his pillow, or lying on his stomach. According to studies, infants who have fallen asleep on their tummy lying down are more likely to experience SIDS because they may not be able to breathe.
Do not use a soft mattress or pillow
Using a soft mattress or soft pillow for your baby can also be harmful. Some mattresses can be a hazard when your baby is sleeping. According to experts, it is best to put the baby on a flat and firm surface to make sure he will not suffocate. Don’t even put on big or heavy blankets that can cover the baby’s face.
Breastfeeding is key!
According to experts, babies who breastfeed even just for six months have a lesser risk of SIDS. The longer you breastfeed the baby, the lower the chance of SIDS. In addition to that, breastfed babies are also less prone to sickness or infections.
Don’t postpone pre-natal check-ups
During pregnancy, always consult with your OB or doctor. According to studies, pregnant women who complete pre-natal check-ups have a lower chance of developing SIDS.
Keep your baby away from cigarette smoke
In some of the reported cases of SIDS, most infants were exposed to secondhand smoking in their homes. It has also been proven that mothers who smoke while pregnant are at increased risk for SIDS once they give birth.
Remember, always be alert when it comes to your baby’s health and safety. Do not hesitate to ask your pediatrician for more details.