SIDS Risk in Babies—What New Parents Need to Know

SIDS Risk in Babies—What New Parents Need to Know

As a new parent, you want to do whatever you can in order to keep your new infant as safe and as healthy as possible. While there are a number of steps you can take in order to ensure your baby’s health and safety, and a number of risks you can be aware of, one of the most important steps you can take is to be on the lookout for SIDS. If you aren’t already familiar with SIDS, here is a basic overview of this condition and what you can do to prevent SIDS from impacting your new baby.

What is SIDS?

SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is also often called crib death. SIDS occurs when a baby 12 months or younger dies during their sleep with no clear reason or warning sign. There are still so many questions that researchers have about SIDS and why it occurs. While there is still no guaranteed way to prevent SIDS from occurring, there are steps that parents can take to significantly reduce their child’s risk.

How to Prevent SIDS

The more parents know about SIDS, the safer they can keep their baby during their first year of life. Here are the best ways to prevent SIDS in an infant.

  1. Create the Right Crib. Your baby needs to be sleeping in the right environment each and every night, which means a firm bed without any bedding or soft toys. All you need in your baby’s crib is a fitted sheet. This means no pillows, no crib bumpers, no toys and no blankets. They can all put your baby at risk for suffocation.
  2. Breastfeed as Long as You Can. Breastfeeding is extremely important for infants and comes with a number of great health benefits. It can also reduce your infant’s chances of SIDS by as much as 50%, according to studies—although researchers still aren’t sure exactly why.
  3. Keep Your Baby Sleeping on Their Back. When babies sleep on their stomach or sides, they are much more likely to succumb to SIDS. The best sleeping position is always on the back on a flat surface or bed so your baby can breathe. Once your baby reaches 6 months and can start rolling on their own, he or she may not stay on their back.
  4. Keep Your Sleeping Baby Close. You should not have your baby sleeping in your bed, but it is recommended to keep them in your room for the first 6 months of life.
  5. Put Your Baby to Sleep With a Pacifier. Although there are still many uncertainties surrounding SIDS and why it occurs, research has found that babies who fall asleep with a pacifier are less likely to suffer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If you are breastfeeding please wait at least 2 weeks to ensure that breastfeeding has been established properly.

Keep these tips in mind as you continue to enjoy these special first months with your child. If you ever have any questions about SIDS or what you can do to keep your baby safe and healthy, feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Mandal at Continuum Pediatrics by calling 817-617-8600 or scheduling online at