The sudden death of an infant under the age of one usually occurs while the baby is sleeping. We still do not know the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (crib death).
The main risk factors for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are:
- being exposed to her mother’s smoking during pregnancy;
- sleeping on her tummy;
- ending up with her head completely covered by blankets.
Here are some recommendations to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome:
- Avoid smoking during pregnancy. Tobacco by-products absorbed by mothers who smoke are passed from the mother’s blood to the baby’s blood via the placenta.
- Place your baby on her back to go to sleep. Tell anyone who looks after your baby to do the same. Healthy babies won’t suffocate when they sleep on their backs. When your baby begins turning over on her own, you can allow her to sleep in the position that she prefers without any danger.
- Avoid using comforters because they can easily cover your baby’s head as she moves around.
- Avoid using pillows, bumper pads or other similar items in your baby’s crib. Your baby could suffocate against these objects if she is on her stomach or accidentally turns onto her side or stomach.
You can swaddle your baby in a blanket. In this case, make sure that she sleeps on her back and isn’t too warm.
Infant sound and movement monitors do not replace these precautions. All these safety measures must be followed even if you use a baby monitor.