New and Expecting Parents: Here’s How You Can Reduce Your Baby’s Risk for SIDS
stomachs or sides, but the number one most effective way to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS is to place the baby on his or her back to sleep – not only at night but also for naptime. Your baby may roll over while sleeping, but the most important thing is that he or she starts on the back.
Use a firm, flat sleep surface and remove loose bedding and blankets. Additional blankets and bedding may appear to be comfortable for babies, but they increase your baby’s risk for SIDS as well as suffocation and strangulation.
Share your room with your baby, but not your bed. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep on a separate surface for your baby’s first year and if that isn’t possible then at least for his or her first six months.
Ensure your baby doesn’t get too hot during sleep. To prevent your baby from becoming too hot and to eliminate the need for loose bedding, dress your baby in a wearable blanket. Be sure not to overdress your baby or cover his or her face while sleeping.
You can learn more about creating a safe sleeping environment for your baby on the Safe to Sleep® campaign website.
Jasmine Berry, B.A. in Journalism is a graduate of Hampton University and is soon to have her master of public health from Tulane University. She loves all things mental wellness and a good cup of tea.