Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Keeping Your Baby Safe

by heather

I think most of have heard of or know of a parent that has experienced the horrors of SIDS. For those of you who haven’t, SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and it’s just that, the sudden unexplained death of an infant under a year old. While the causes are characteristically unknown, there are several things you can do as a mother to lower your baby’s risk.

  • Always put your baby to sleep on its back.
  • Eliminate excess bedding, clothing, soft sleep surfaces and stuffed animals. One sleeper, one onesie and one blanket should be enough.
  • Breast feed. This one factor reduces the risk of SIDS by 50%.
  • Keep room temperature in infants sleeping area cool.
  • Eliminate exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Use a fan to circulate air in the infant’s room.
  • Eliminate mold.
  • Do not put an infant to sleep in your bed or in a bed with other siblings.

Other than the reverse of the above factors there are many things that increase the risk for SIDS. These include: prematurity, maternal drug, tobacco or alcohol use in pregnancy, inadequate prenatal care and nutrition, and the infant or mother being overweight.

Recently the FDA has warned consumers not to use infant sleep positioners. Many of these sleep positioners claim that they reduce the risk of SIDS, but this claim is unfounded and these positioners have in fact resulted in the suffocation of several infants. There are two basic positioner types: mat with side bolsters or wedge with side bolsters as shown below. If you have been using these I strongly recommend that you stop now.

Mat with side bolsters

Wedge with side bolsters

2 Responses to “Keeping Your Baby Safe”

  1. Debbie says:

    Very good advise. With eliminating excess bedding, I would add to take out the bumper along the sides of the crib. It may look cute, but really isn't safe.

  2. Kendra says:

    Wow, this is good to know. i have used those wedges with all three of my kids. Babies look so uncomfortable on a hard mattress swaddled, but It's good to know. Thanks!

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