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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS, is a terrifying risk that can happen to babies without warning.
As moms, we try to do all we can to protect our babies. We put sunscreen on them before going out in the sun, feed them nutritious food, make sure they are developing properly, care for them when they are sick, and so much more.
That’s why it’s scary to think that this silent killer can strike at anytime. Luckily, there are precautions we can take to help reduce the chances of SIDS for our babies.
Browse the baby aisle of any store and you’re bound to see all the cutest crib bedding sets your heart desires. From crib skirts with matching blankets, to full sets including mobiles, sheets, blankets and skirts.
But beware of buying anything that could pose a suffocation risk to your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping baby’s crib bare, meaning just a mattress and fitted sheet for baby to sleep on. That means no blankets, stuffed animals, toys, or anything else in the crib.
Having a bare crib can help reduce the risk of SIDS and reduce the risk of suffocation in young babies. So wait until they are much older to purchase the fancy bedding sets.
Along the same lines as keeping a bare crib, it is also advised that the crib sheet be nicely fitted. A loose sheet can also pose a suffocation hazard. Avoid this by following the recommended sheet size that the crib mattress manufacturer gives. Most manufacturers offer this information with the description of the crib. If not, you can contact the manufacturer directly.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends a firm sleeping surface for babies. Avoid mattresses that are too soft that a baby could “sink” into. Or mattresses that have an indentation left behind after removing the baby as there is higher risk of SIDS when these are used.
Instead, opt for a firm mattress that evenly supports and doesn’t sink under baby’s weight.
Keep clothing appropriate for the weather, but don’t over-dress baby. This is important because you don’t want baby to overheat, which studies have shown has been linked to cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Sleep sacks work well in the colder months to keep babies warm. They help eliminate the need for blankets and extra sheets. Different varieties have the option of being sleeveless in warmer temperatures, or having sleeves in colder temperatures.
Back to Sleep
Most of us are familiar with the “Back To Sleep” campaign. We know to put our babies down on their backs. But do you know why? Placing baby on his or her back can keep them from suffocating in a mattress or loosely fitted sheet or other loose object.
Keeping smoke out of a baby’s lungs is good for them is several ways. They will be healthier without second hand smoke, and they will have less of a risk of SIDS. Babies shouldn’t share a bed with smokers or be around second smoke.
Talk to your pediatrician for information about preventing SIDS in infants.