The No. 1 thing you can do to reduce your infant’s risk of SIDS

The possibility of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one of the scariest things a parent can face. SIDS usually occurs during sleep, and experts aren’t exactly sure what causes it. Fortunately, they have been able to identify risk factors, meaning you can do more than just keep your fingers crossed.

The best way to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS is by creating a safe sleep environment. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Select a safe crib with a firm mattress. Cribs manufactured after 2011 comply with strict federal safety standards, making them more sturdy and durable. Check out this blog post to learn about three signs a crib is unsafe.
  2. Use only a fitted sheet. Although it’s tempting to decorate your infant’s crib with cute bumper pads, blankets and stuffed animals, these are suffocation hazards.
  3. Make sure your baby sleeps in his or her own crib. Infants can fall off couches, chairs or regular beds. And an adult may roll on top of an infant during sleep, so it’s best to put your baby to sleep in his or her own crib.
  4. Put your baby to bed on his or her back. Choking is more likely if a baby sleeps on his or her tummy. Sleeping infants breathe easier on their backs.

To learn more about safe sleep habits that reduce your infant’s risk of SIDS, visit http://www.bootheelbabies.org/safe-sleep.

Disclaimer: If your baby has a fever or other symptoms, or you have concerns about the growth and development of your child, always seek care with your healthcare provider.