Are You Putting Your Baby To Sleep Safely?

Editorial Team

In July, I got news that my cousin had given birth to a baby girl, I was really happy for him because that was his second child and his first son was already 4 years old. He told me that he felt like his family was finally complete and they could just focus on taking care of their children and being a family.

Sadly just one month after her birth, she died. She just stopped breathing while she was asleep and died. No explanation whatsoever, just died in her sleep, there are several cases of babies dying without warning, this is know as the Sudden Infant Death.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a condition when an apparently healthy baby dies unexpectedly, and for no clear reason. SIDS victims are babies, who appear to be perfectly healthy when their parents put them down for a nap or at bedtime, but then they never wake up.

Researchers from Yale and Boston University recently conducted an experiment, which was published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, to determine how many mothers lay their babies on their backs.

Until their first birthday, babies should sleep on their backs for all sleep times for naps and at night.

We know babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides. The problem with the side position is that the baby can roll more easily onto the stomach.

Some parents worry that babies will choke when on their backs, but the baby's airway anatomy and the gag reflex will keep that from happening. Even babies with gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) should sleep on their backs.

Here are some safety tips that can significantly reduce the risk of SIDS:

  • Always put your baby to sleep on his back. 
  • Don’t put blankets or toys in his crib. Use only blankets that are breathable and allow the baby to get fresh air. Use tight-fitting bedding on a firm crib mattress.
  • It is advisable not to share your bed with your baby. Sleep in the same room but not the same bed as your baby
  • Sleeping on couches and armchairs places infants at an extraordinarily high risk of infant death, including SIDS, suffocation through entrapment or wedging between seat cushions, or overlay if another person is also sharing this surface.
  • Keep the room cool, but not too cold. Stale, warm, and stuffy air makes it difficult for a baby to breathe.
  • Allowing a baby to soothe themselves to sleep with a pacifier makes their breathing more regular and consistent. This is a good thing. To avoid strangulation, don’t hang the pacifier around your baby’s neck or attach it to his clothing while he’s asleep.
  • Keep your home free of cigarette smoke and other heavy fumes and/or odour. It is also advisable not to smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs during pregnancy.
  • Breast-feed your baby, if possible. Breast-feeding for at least six months lowers the risk of SIDS.