Although SIDS diagnoses are largely inconclusive and unpreventable, statistics show that as many as 80 to 90 percent of unexpected infant deaths are related to unsafe sleep practices.
Adopting safe sleep habits is one of the most important things you can do for your child. Research shows that babies sleep safest on their backs in uncluttered cribs. Protect your infant by following these guidelines:
- Always put your baby on his/her back to sleep.
- Breastfeeding is recommended.
- Use a crib that meets current safety standards. Cover the firm mattress with a fitted sheet.
- Remove anything soft or loose from your baby’s sleep space, including pillows, blankets, bumpers and stuffed animals. (Use a Sleep Sack to keep your baby warm.)
- Keep the room temperature comfortable for light clothing to ensure that your baby doesn’t get hot during sleep.
- Do not ever fall asleep with your baby in a bed, couch or chair.
- Consider room sharing: Place your baby’s safe sleep space near your bed to help you protect him/her and make breastfeeding easier.
- Once nursing is well-established, offer a pacifier when you lay your baby down.
- Never place your baby to sleep on a soft surface (bed, cushion, comforter, etc.) or use wedges to position him/her.