Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for children under one year old. There are a number of precautions you can take from birth onward to decrease your child’s risk of SIDS, especially during bedtime. At CHI St. Luke’s Health–The Woodlands Hospital, we recommend the following guidelines to protect your baby’s health.
We strongly recommend supervised skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, once the mother is medically stable, awake, and ready to respond to her newborn. Once the mother becomes sleepy, return the baby to its safe sleep environment. Breastfeeding is also linked with a lower risk of SIDS. Once breastfeeding is established, at approximately three to four weeks of age, introduce a dry and cordless pacifier for bedtime.
It's important to create a safe sleep environment for your child. When it’s time for rest, place your child on their back on a cool, firm sleep surface certified by the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). For the baby’s first year, keep their sleep area in your room, but do not share a bed. Always use a safety-approved crib, bassinet, or portable crib for sleep. Do not leave your child in a stroller, seat, swing, or carrier for routine sleep, and do not use a wedge or positioner to assist the baby’s reflexes. Even soft objects like toys, pillows, and blankets can pose a threat to a baby's safe sleep environment.
Above all, vaccinate your child and listen to your physician’s guidance at regular check-ups.