Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Information to comfort you and boost your
confidence.Babies who are breastfed and properly vaccinated have a lower risk of SIDS.

The sudden death of an infant under the age of one 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 (SIDS) are

  • Exposure to maternal tobacco use or other sources of tobacco smoke during pregnancy and after birth (see Tobacco and electronic cigarette)
  • Sleeping on the stomach
  • Blankets or bedding that can end up completely covering a child’s face

Here are some recommendations to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome:

  • Make sure your baby sleeps safely (see Sleeping safely and The nursery).
  • Eliminate smoking as much as possible during pregnancy and make sure no one smokes near your baby.
  • Put your baby to sleep on her back. Tell anyone who looks after your baby to do the same. Babies who usually sleep on their backs and are then put to sleep on their stomachs are at greater risk for SIDS.
  • Make sure your baby is neither too warm nor too cold when sleeping (e.g., light clothing, room at a comfortable temperature).

Using a baby monitor does not mean you can disregard these safety precautions. They must be followed even when using a monitor.

Sudden infant death syndrome: The unexplainable sudden death of an apparently healthy newborn under the age of one.