Infant Sleep Safety Awareness: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome · Charlie’s Kids.org · The SIDS Center of New Jersey (Statewide Hotline 800 545-7437) · #SafeSleepSnap · Safe Sleep Environments · HealthyChildren.org
Most parents have heard about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), originally known as crib death. Thinking about it can be very stressful for new parents. Fortunately, one of the most effective ways to prevent SIDS is also very simple.
Putting your baby to sleep on their back carries a much lower risk of SIDS than putting them to sleep on their stomach. In the past, parents were encouraged to put their babies to sleep on their stomach. But as research on SIDS became more common and new discoveries were made, scientists realized that babies who sleep on their stomach have an increased risk of SIDS.
Once a baby learns how to roll over, which usually happens when they’re four to six months old, their risk of SIDS decreases significantly. However, parents are still encouraged to put their babies to sleep on their backs until they’re one year old, even if they flip over while they sleep.
Don’t use extra pillows or rolled up blankets to keep your baby on their back. Having extra objects in the crib can increase the risk of SIDS. Instead, offer your baby a pacifier while they’re on their back. It’s usually difficult for babies to keep a pacifier in their mouth when they flip to a different position, so they’ll learn to stay on their backs to keep the pacifier in place.
Medical research agrees that babies should be placed on their backs to sleep. This position can help prevent SIDS, and it’s also been linked to fewer ear infections and less nasal congestion in babies. To teach your baby to sleep on their back, make sure you’re consistent, always place them in the same position, and keep their crib clear of any objects.