SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome is an ever-present risk that endangers the lives of babies under one-year of age. And the alarming thing about this syndrome is that medical experts still can’t pinpoint what causes it exactly. But while this is the case, there are a number of things we parents can implement to avoid this from happening.
A number of risk factors during pregnancy have been identified for SIDS. To ensure you minimize the chances of the syndrome from occurring when your child is born, keep in mind these things:
1. Pregnant women should not, at all costs, smoke at any time during the length of the pregnancy. The fetus’ exposure to nicotine seems to be the culprit in this case.
2. The pregnant women’s exposure to nicotine through second-hand smoke should be eliminated as well. So make sure no one in the household smokes, especially when in the same room with a woman who’s pregnant.
3. Delay in seeking prenatal care has been identified as one of the possible causes of SIDS too. So whenever pregnant, a woman should periodically see a doctor. This way, proper care and diet can be implemented to guarantee a healthier pregnancy, and ultimately,a healthier newborn as well.
Once your baby is born, you must make sure to follow these pieces of advice to avoid SIDS from claiming the life of your beloved precious child.
1. Again, nicotine exposure is a big no-no. So do not, at all costs, smoke near or around the baby. If someone smokes in the household, ensure that the windows in the room where this person has smoked in have been opened to promote ventilation.
2. Choose the materials where baby will sleep on. It would be best to use a firm mattress than a soft one. And use only a light sheet to cover the mattress. Ensure the edges have been tucked firmly into sides of the mattress when making the bed or the crib. This way, you won’t have to worry about your baby getting smothered by the sheets that have accidentally unraveled.
3. Avoid putting too many toys, especially stuffed animals, on the bed or in the crib. Your baby’s movements during sleep could unnecessarily cause the soft toys to smother him or her and possibly cause potentially fatal asphyxia.
4. Minimize use of baby bouncers, strollers, and car seats whenever you can to avoid putting pressure on the back of your baby’s head.
5. Co-sleeping seems to increase the risk of SIDS so avoid sleeping in the same bed where baby sleeps. If you need to constantly monitor your child and want to be near him or her even during bedtime, then consider a crib placed inside your room instead.
6. Position your baby with his or her back against the bed. This position is the most favorable in terms of reducing risks of smothering, as compared to baby lying on the stomach, or sleeping on his or her side.
7. Dress baby in light and properly fitting clothes. Doing so will ensure your child does not unnecessarily overheat or get suffocated with loose clothing.
8. Keep baby’s head clear of any obstruction when he or she is sleeping. Ensure to position your baby properly in the crib, with his or her feet to the crib’s foot. This way, the chances of the child accidentally squirming under the covers is reduced.
9. Presence of molds can cause your child’s delicate lungs to bleed. So ensure that your home’s ventilation system is at the best of conditions at all times.
10. Too low or too high room temperatures have been noted as a risk factor for SIDS. So make sure to periodically monitor the temperature settings in the room where your baby sleeps in.
Of course, to guarantee that you are constantly updated of presence of breathing movements from your child when he or she is asleep, opt to use an appropriate device. A baby movement monitor will be the ideal choice for this case.