Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is probably the biggest nightmare any parent could ever have. This condition, otherwise known as crib death, can happen even to the healthiest babies. This is why, it is imperative that every parent should learn about this to ensure that it doesn't happen to his/her precious little angels.
At what age is SIDS common?
The occurrence of SIDS is quite rare, although it is a common cause of death among babies between 1 to 12 months. It is most common in babies ages 2 to 4 months.
What are the causes of SIDS?
The direct cause of crib death is unknown. But it has been associated with premature babies and babies with low birth weight. It also occurs more frequently in babies whose mothers didn't get prenatal attention during the course of pregnancy, those who are younger than 20 years, or those who smoked while they were still pregnant. It's also more prevalent in babies who were part of a multiple pregnancy such as twins or triplets.
Another culprit being pointed out is the position of sleeping. When babies sleep on their tummies, they are not able to breathe well. Side sleeping had been recommended all these years until the time it was discouraged since babies could easily roll onto their bellies and have difficulty in breathing.
What can a parent do to prevent SIDS?
Although there is no sure way to prevent crib death, certain precautions can significantly reduce the risk. First of all, don't let your baby sleep on his stomach or side. A baby should always sleep on his back. If you're pregnant, never smoke. Don't inhale secondhand smoke either, as this is just as harmful as smoking cigarette yourself.
Don't put your baby in a separate room for at least the first six months. Have him sleep in your bedroom so you can easily check on him from time to time. Even if you have a baby monitor, it won't tell you if your child is already having difficulty breathing or if he's not feeling well.
Buy a firm mattress for your baby's crib. The bed sheet should be fitted properly so that it won't come off and pose as suffocating hazard for your little one. Same is for any other item in the crib. Don't put anything inside the crib that your baby can pull into his head. This includes everything from comforters, stuffed toys, blankets and pillows. If you intend to use bumper pads on the crib, see to it that they are firmly attached.
Bring your child to a doctor for a regular checkup. This way, you'll know if your child is suffering from any medical problem that requires immediate attention. Keep your baby in the pink of health through breastfeeding and playful interaction.
SIDS doesn't happen every day. The information presented here are meant to inform and not cause paranoia to parents. You don't have to be paranoid at all, just cautious and alert at all times.