Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) occurs in thousands of infants each year. It is the sudden death of an infant under the age of one year from unexplained causes. While researchers still know little about the condition, there are some ways parents can reduce their risks. In addition to visiting a family birth center for up-to-date information, here are some tips for minimizing the risks of SIDS.
5 Tips for Minimizing SIDS
1. Choose the Right Bedding
New parents should equip their homes with a safety-approved crib featuring a firm mattress. Soft surfaces are considered more dangerous, as are loose sheets. Thus, make sure your baby’s sheets fit snug against the sleep surface.
2. Place Babies on Their Backs
Pediatricians, researchers, and professionals from family birth centers agree that this is the safest position to reduce the risk of SIDS. While some parents are fearful of choking if their baby spits up, babies are anatomically hardwired to not choke while sleeping.
3. Share the Room, Not the Bed
Sharing the room with an infant can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50%. Yet, it’s important to keep your child in their own crib or bassinet, as sharing a bed could cause strangulation or suffocation in babies.
4. Keep a Clear Crib
While it can be tempting to comfort your baby with stuffed toys, blankets, and other loose objects, these items increase the risk of suffocation. Experts advise parents to keep pillows, stuffed animals, and any other soft objects out of the crib.
5. Avoid Smoking
Exposing your baby to secondhand smoke is dangerous to their health. It is therefore critically important for parents to maintain a smoke-free home and car. If you need assistance quitting, consider requesting resources, such as information on local support groups from your local family birth center.
If you’re located in the mid-Willamette Valley area in Oregon and are exploring your childbirth options, don’t hesitate to contact the family birth center at Santiam Hospital. Offering a quiet, personal birth experience and a qualified, nurturing team, this center provides superior around-the-clock care for expectant and new parents and their babies. Learn more about their birth center tours by visiting their website, or call (503) 749-4734 to reach the hospital.