Although we now know that the Back To Sleep Campaign has increased the incidence of baby flat head syndrome, it is important to still take every precaution to reduce your baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. Here you will find some proven tips to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.
In addition to a healthy pregnancy and good prenatal care, once baby is born and at home there are certain measures that the “Back To Sleep” campaign promotes to help reduce the risk of SIDS.
These tips should be used along with putting infants to sleep on their backs:
- Babies should be put to sleep on their back, every time they sleep including naps.
- Keep the room where baby is sleeping cool; the best temperature is between 65 and 70◦
- Dress baby in lightweight clothing.
- Use a pacifier for sleep. Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown that sucking on a pacifier helps baby move through sleep cycles better.
- Products that claim they can “reduce the risk of SIDS” have not been proven to work. Any monitor other than a hospital provided apnea monitor has no proven reduction in SIDS cases.
- Baby’s cribs or bassinets should be in the same room as the parents, but infants should never sleep in the parent’s bed.
- Infant’s should not use pillows or have more than one blanket in their bed. Too many blankets or stuffed animals and pillows raise the risk of suffocation.
- No soft surfaces for sleeping babies. Make sure the crib and bassinet mattress is firm with no added cushion.
- Never smoke in the home, car or other enclosed area around an infant, even when they are awake.
These practices were widely studied and shown to decrease the rate of SIDS even higher.
At the same time you are protecting your baby from SIDS, it is also important to be sure you are not inadvertently causing your baby to have flattening of the head. More information can be found in our ebook, “The Complete Guide to Flat Head Syndrome in Infants”.
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