Sleep Positions and SIDS

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Help Your Baby Sleep Safely and Soundly.

For more than 20 years, experts have been urging parents and caregivers to put babies to sleep on their backs. And as people follow that advice, we’ve seen the rates of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) drop. The window of greatest risk seems to be for babies between one and four months old.

Although sleeping on her back is best, there’s more to it than that. The following tips can help prevent SIDS:

  • Make sure your baby sleeps on a firm, completely horizontal mattress.
  • She should sleep alone — without any blankets, pillows, toys, sleep positioners or pets that could cover her face or otherwise keep her from getting enough oxygen.
  • Don’t smoke in the home with your baby, which can double her risk for SIDS.
  • Keep baby’s room comfortably cool (around 60 to 62 degrees) at night and don’t overdress her for bed. Babies who are too warm when they sleep may face a higher risk of SIDS.
  • If you want to co-sleep with your baby, get a special bassinet that attaches to the side of your bed for that purpose. A baby who sleeps in the same bed as her parents could get trapped between the mattress and headboard or wall, or could suffocate if a sleeping parent rolls over and accidentally covers her face.
  • Giving baby a pacifier at naptime and bedtime may reduce her risk of SIDS. However, if you’re breastfeeding you should wait until she’s at least one month old and nursing is well-established before you introduce the pacifier.