Parents of a newborn are feeling all sorts of excitement when they first laid eyes on their bundle of joy, but this happiness can be tempered with trepidation as the threat of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome is all too real. You’ve probably read countless stories of babies dying because of this and may have counted several sleepless nights because you just want to hear your baby breathe. The good news is that the number of infant deaths because of SIDS has declined over the past few years, but this doesn’t mean that you’re off the woods yet. Still, there are ways in which you can prevent this incidence from happening with the following tips.
Place your baby on his or her back
One tip that can help you avoid SIDS from happening in the first place is to actually place your baby on his or her back when they sleep. This prevents their airways from being clogged or blocked when they sleep. Allowing a baby to sleep on their tummy with their head pressed on their pillows or off to one side may be constricting to their throats or nose thus preventing them from breathing well.
Another tip that can reduce the risk from SIDS is avoiding using any pillows, blankets, comforters, and even putting toys in the crib with your baby. Experts recommend that you only give them these things when they are already a year old. This is because their wandering hands and poor motor skills can actually cause these bed accessories to fall on or cover their face that can hinder their breathing. If your baby is a bit fussy at night, use a sleep sack or swaddling to wrap your baby up. However, make sure that your little one is not overheating because of it as this can also trigger SIDS.
Use the right crib
When looking for a crib, make sure that it meets the safety standards and that you are using a firm mattress rather than a soft one. The crib sheet should fit the mattress firmly and securely so that there won’t be any chances of the sheet becoming loose and smothering your baby as she or he rolls around the mattress.
Supervised tummy sessions
If you’re worried that having your baby sleep on their back is going to leave them with a flat head, then during the day, do a supervised tummy session where your little one can squirm all they want on their belly. This eases the pressure on their head. You can also turn your baby’s head to one side one night and to the other side the following day to help make the formation of their head even.
Putting the crib inside your bedroom makes it easier for you to monitor your baby as opposed to having your baby sleep on the opposite room. Your baby needs to be within easy access to you as much as possible during their first few months so that you will be able to prevent any untoward incidents while they sleep. Although co-sleeping is possible, you need to consider the risks involved with it.
Another way to help reduce the occurrence of SIDS in a newborn is to introduce a pacifier when they are a month old. You can do this once you have established breastfeeding with your little one. The pacifier can prevent them from going into a deep sleep as they feel that they are still suckling and jolts them awake.