Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome #A2ZChallenge

“If we knew exactly what causes it, we wouldn’t call it SIDS…” – John Kattwinkel

A child comes into this world with a load of responsibilities for the new parents. With each milestone, it is indeed an achievement for the parents as well. However, when going through this journey we all pray that things must go right and there should be no room for mishaps. Agree, a lot of mishaps can take place but there are a few which we can reduce. One such accident is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Sudden infant death syndrome also known as crib death is an unexplained death of a healthy infant during sleep. Though the awareness regarding the sleeping positions of a baby has reduced the number of cases of SIDS, there are still many countries where this is the main reason behind the death of babies who are between 2-6 months old.

There is no specific reason for SIDS. Factors like breathing, heart rate, getting too hot, mouth and nose being covered with blanket, pillow or linen may contribute to SIDS. Usually, this occurs when the baby is asleep both at night as well as daytime. It is not necessary that SIDS occurs in a crib, it could happen in a pram, a bed or even in the arms of the parent.

It is observed that SIDS is more common in winter. This is due to the fact that at this time of the year infections increase and secondly, we as parents put extra bedding and blankets and even heaters to protect the little ones from cold. But what we don’t realise is that by doing so we may actually be making the baby very hot.

Did you know: SIDS is very common in the first six months with the peak being at 2-3 months. This risk, however, falls as the baby grows. Click To Tweet

How Can We Reduce The Risk of SIDS:

There is no way in which SIDS can be prevented. However, if we do our best it can be reduced. Here are some easy yet useful tips on reducing SIDS:

Sleeping position: When putting the baby to sleep make sure that the baby is placed on his/her back, rather than on the side or stomach. Sleeping on backs also ensures that the baby does not choke or suffocate. This should be followed for the first year of life. As far as possible try to check once that your baby is in the correct position, don’t assume that others have done a great job.

Share your room with the baby: Place the baby’s crib or bassinet in your room for at least 6 months. In India, it is a very common practice to sleep with the baby on the same bed. Agreed, we have been doing it but the reality is that adult beds are not safe for babies. Why? A baby may get trapped under the blankets or other bedding. There is also a chance that a baby may get suffocated by a sleeping parent if they accidentally roll over the child’s mouth and nose.

For the first six months, the bed was a big no-no for my daughter as instructed by her paediatrician. I used to place her bassinet in our room and she slowly graduated to a cot. Though things are different now and we have started co-sleeping! Also, to be dealt with!!

Don’t overstuff the cribs: When you put your baby in the crib make sure that the mattress is firm. Avoid using thick and fluffy quilts and stuffed toys. Though these things are kept with the good intention you never know they may cause breathing interference if the baby presses against them. It only takes a fraction of seconds for an accident to take place.

Avoid overdressing the baby: When the baby is put to bed avoid overdressing the baby with clothes and later with layers of blankets. This may create a lot of heat for the baby and overheating is one of the causes of SIDS. Try to maintain a comfortable temperature in the room so that the baby is comfortable. Signs like sweating, restlessness, damp hair and heavy breathing indicate that the baby is overheated. You can adjust the baby’s bedding by feeling their neck or tummy to see if they are hot or cold.

Breastfeed the baby: It is believed that breastfeeding the baby for a minimum of 6 months reduces the risk of SIDS. The breastmilk is rich in nutrients and gives babies all the nutrients they need to help them from infections.

A breathing monitor is an electric device being used widely these days to alarm the parents in case the child stops breathing. But how useful is this to avert SIDS? There is no evidence that these monitors help to reduce SIDS. Doctors don’t recommend its use for premature as well as healthy babies.

Also Read:

Theme Reveal, A – Autism, B – Bronchiolitis, C – Celiac Disease, D – Dyslexia, E – Eating Disorders, F – Fever, G – GERD, H – Hand Foot And Mouth Disease (HFMD), I – Imaginary Friends, J – Juvenile Arthritis, K – Kawasaki Disease, L – Leukaemia, M – Meningitis, N – Neuroblastoma, O – Omphalitis, P – Pica, Q – Q Fever, R – Retinoblastoma

Proud to be an IndiBlogger

TOP 100 PARENTING BLOGS

Shubhra Rastogi Written by:

Well, about me I can say that I am a certified dentist, healthcare analyst, medical writer and above all a mother of a 6-year-old. Most of my day to day activities revolve around her and she is my inspiration to start this blog. As a mother, I experimented with a lot of new things for my little one in a quest to find the best for her. I just want to share my experiences of being a happy and content mum.

18 Comments

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 22, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Vidhya

  1. April 22, 2019
    Reply

    One of the saddest things to deal with as a parent… after all the joy and expectations, seeing the child being born and then losing in this horrible way

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 22, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, this is indeed the saddest thing to deal with.

  2. April 22, 2019
    Reply

    An informative post. Certainly new parents of a new born baby should be made aware of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome so that they can take adequate precaution and stay alert to the possibilities.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 22, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, indeed this is important to understand.

  3. Noor Anand Chawla
    April 22, 2019
    Reply

    I read up a lot on SIDS when my son was born. Interestingly there had been some research to suggest that risk of SIDS is significantly less in Asian and African countries. Perhaps because of joint family/ stay-at-home mom situations?

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 22, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, the risk is significantly less in Asian countries.

  4. Priyanka Nair
    April 22, 2019
    Reply

    It is really scary to even think about it, but a very useful post it is, especially for every new parent.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 22, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Priyanka

  5. April 22, 2019
    Reply

    Our paed repeatedly told us about SIDS and the way we needed to be careful about a sleeping infant. Also while breastfeeding he kept repeating that the baby should be able to breathe. Very informative post.

  6. Shubhra Rastogi
    April 22, 2019
    Reply

    Thanks, Sonia.,

  7. April 22, 2019
    Reply

    The title itself stopped my heartbeat for a second. Parents need to be very careful.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 22, 2019
      Reply

      Yes Indeed.

  8. April 23, 2019
    Reply

    It must be so devastating for the parents to not know the reason of the death of their child. Thanks for this detailed and informative post, Shubhra!

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 23, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Shilpa

  9. April 25, 2019
    Reply

    This gives me jitters because when my twins were in NICU on their initial days of birth, they would sleep on the stomach as suggested by the docs later someone told me about SIDS and that sleeping on the stomach may cause it too. I had a tough time changing their habit but gradually it happened. This is a very useful post especially for the new parents.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 29, 2019
      Reply

      I am so glad that you found this post useful. Thanks, Vartika.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.