PSST.ph does not want to cause fear but an infant younger than one-year-old may be discovered lifeless, without pulse during his sleep. This is called the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or more commonly known as SIDS. In most cases, no sign of pain is detected and all possible causes of death have been ruled out already. Risk peaks in youngsters two to four months old. All the more, what makes it devastating is the fact that it can happen without warning.
There is no 100 percent way to prevent SIDS. However, parents can lower their baby’s risk to it. PSST.ph gathers most of the pediatricians’ recommendations to drop the rate of SIDS incidents.
The baby’s sleeping environment should be free from any threats or dangers. It is best to lay him on a flat surface and not too long in a baby seat, car seat or stroller It is best, too, to invest on cribs or beds that follow the standard guidelines set by authorities. A firm, flat mattress with a tight-fitting sheet is also highly recommended, same with no pillow and stuffed toys around. Usually, a soft mattress or those with any kind of mattress topper increases the risk of suffocation if the baby turns in his tummy-down position.
Share the same room
Either co-sleeping or not, it is best to sleep in the same room as the baby. This gives the parent opportunity to check the infant from time to time and even reach to him for nighttime feeding and even comforting.
Most midwives, though, do not recommend sharing the same bed with the child as there were a number of incidents associated with accidental suffocation or entrapment. For one thing, the bed has pillows and blankets which are risk factors for SIDS. Another reason is that the baby has a greater possibility to overheat when sharing the bed with adults. Also, bed-sharing with someone very tired or under a sedative may not be too conscious of his surrounding.
Sleep on his back
The baby is at higher risk of SIDS if he sleeps on his stomach or side. This is because there might be objects near him that may hinder with his normal breathing. If the parent sees the baby on his stomach, position him again on his back. This usually happens in infants at four months old and higher because they can now roll over but can’t go back to their original position.
Either use a swaddle or a wearable blanket to keep the baby warm during his sleep. Make sure though not to cover him with any loose blanket that may end up over his face. This may block his breathing.
There are a number of swaddle blankets and sleep sacks available in the market that keep the baby warm the safest possible way. When the baby starts to roll over, though, it is advisable not to swaddle him anymore.
Another SIDS risk factor is overdressing or dressing the baby way too thick. He will most likely overheat if he is sweating or his hair is damp. Avoid layering of clothes, too, when the weather is too hot. Using a hood while sleeping isn’t advisable as well except during his first few days in the hospital.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
SIDS usually happens to healthy babies, usually younger than 6 months old. Sadly, they are found dead in bed with no sign of distress. As the cause of death remains unknown, the risk of SIDS can still be lowered. Again, SIDS is not predictable nor preventable. But we could drop the rate of SIDS incidents. Follow the pieces of advice above and it would be wiser if you ask your pediatrician and midwife more about it.