Infant Safe Sleep/SIDS
Tips to Reduce the Risk of Sleep Related Infant Death and SIDS
Is the room your baby sleeps in safe? Click Here to learn what you can do to make the room your baby sleeps in is as safe as can be.
Before Baby is Born
Do not smoke or expose yourself to others' smoke while you are pregnant and after the baby is born.
Do not drink alcohol or use drugs while pregnant or after the birth.
Get regular prenatal checkups to reduce your risk of having a low birth weight or premature baby.
Safe Sleep Practice (for babies ages 0-1)
Place your baby to sleep on his back for naps and at night. If your baby is strong enough to roll from his back to his side or stomach on his own, he can be left in that position.
If your baby falls asleep in a car safety seat, stroller, swing, infant carrier, or infant sling she should be moved to a crib or bassinet as soon as possible.
Breastfeed as much and for as long as you can. Studies show that breastfeeding your baby can help reduce the risk of SIDS. Exclusive breastfeeding is best, but any breast milk is better than none.
Go to all scheduled doctor visits and make sure your baby receives all recommended shots. Evidence suggests that immunizations may have a protective effect against SIDS.
Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. This helps to reduce the risk of SIDS. If breastfeeding, wait at least 4 weeks until breastfeeding is established before offering a pacifier. If baby does not take a pacifier, do not force it.
Dress your baby in no more than one more layer than you would wear. Your baby may be too hot if she is sweating or if her chest feels hot. If your baby is cold, use infant sleep clothing designed to keep babies warm without the risk of covering their heads.
Do not use home breathing or heart monitors to help reduce the risk of SIDS. Home monitors can be helpful for babies with breathing or heart problems but have not been found to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Do not use products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. Products such as wedges, positioners, special mattresses, and specialized sleep surfaces have not be shown to reduce the risk of SIDS and some infants have suffocated using these products.
If you decide to use a blanket, make sure it is tucked into the crib mattress to keep it from becoming loose and covering your baby's face. The "feet-to-foot" guidelines:  position the baby so his feet are near the foot of the crib  place a lightweight blanket across the baby's chest just under the arm pits  tuck the blanket in securely along the two sides and foot of the crib.
Safe Sleep Environment
Place your baby to sleep in a safe crib, bassinet or portable crib. Never let your baby sleep on a chair, sofa, water bed, cushion or anywhere else. A safe crib must meet all requirements outlined below:
Have a firm mattress that is the correct size
Be less than 10 years old
Have slats that are no more than 2 3/8 inches (60mm) apart
Be assembled according to manufacturer's instructions
Cribs should NOT:
Having missing, broken or loose parts
Have chipped, cracked or peeling paint
Have a drop side
Have corner posts that protrude above the sides of the crib
Have cut-out designs in the headboard or footboard
Keep soft objects, loose bedding, pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, bumper pads and stuffed toys out of the crib. These items can cause your baby to suffocate.
Place your baby to sleep in the same room where you sleep but not the same bed. Keep the crib or bassinet within an arm's reach of your bed. Babies who sleep in the same bed as their parents are at risk of SIDS, suffocation or strangulation and parents can roll onto babies during sleep.
Keep your baby away from people who are smoking and places where people smoke. If you smoke, try to quit. However, until you can quit, keep your car and home smoke-free. Do not smoke anywhere near your baby, even if you are outside.
Do not let your baby get too hot. Keep the room where your baby sleeps at a comfortable temperature.
www.healthychildren.org A parenting Web site from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP )which includes information related to child health and guidance on parenting issues.
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