SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is a major worry for new parents, naturally. With this in mind (and following a lot of misinformation on social channels such as TikTok) here are six ways to reduce the risks.
1: Sleeping position
Babies that sleep on their backs have a 50% reduced risk of dying from SIDS compared to stomach and side sleeping position. This makes back sleeping the single most important action that parents can take to keep their baby safe while sleeping.
2: DO NOT SMOKE
Smoking around the baby increases the risk of SIDS, consider quitting or at least make sure you're smoking away from the house.
3: Sleeping with the baby on the sofa
This increases the chances of SIDS by around 50 (!) TIMES! Even when you're so tired and sleeping on the sofa seems like the only option, make sure you don't fall asleep with baby for a prolonged period as this is a big risk.
Many parents choose to do this, whereas I'd advise against it. Avoid having lots of loose bedding, keep the baby clear of pillows and other bedding that could cover their face.
5: Toys in the crib
Again, many parents choose to do this too. Loose items in the cot can cover baby's face and pose a huge SIDS risk.
6: Offer a pacifier/dummy
Sucking is a natural soother for babies and studies show that pacifier use decreases risk of SIDS. Once breastfeeding is established, pacifier use should not compromise a healthy breastfeeding relationship. If you’re breastfeeding, you can try the MAM brand pacifier which resembles the shape of mom’s nipple.
Mother of two, Jilly Blankenship is a Baby Sleep Consultant at Baby Sleep Made Simple, Neonatal Nurse, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.