Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is relatively rare but is certainly not unheard of. SIDS is the unexplained and sudden death of a baby and is an awful thing. Safe Sleeping advice is important for all new parents.
The causes of SIDS are far from fully proven and the Lullaby Trust explain that while approximately half of the suspected SIDS cases are shown at post mortem to have been caused by a variety of health related abnormalities (etc) other cases are considered caused either by the vulnerabilities babies naturally face or other currently unknown causes.
Previously referred to as “cot death” this term was dropped and replaced by SIDS as “cot death” incorrectly caused the assumption that SIDS would occur while the baby was in the cot only. The Lullaby Trust, a charity offering specialised advice and support for bereaved parents while working to increase the awareness of SIDS and further its research have on offer a wealth of information regarding safer sleep.
Lullaby Trust offer key advice on safe sleeping. Based on scientific research these safer sleep habits will substantially reduce the chances of the tragedy that is SIDS from occurring.
Safe Sleeping Tips:
- Place your baby on their back to sleep
- If possible, breastfeed your baby
- Keep your baby and their environment smoke-free during pregnancy and beyond
- Use a good quality / condition cot mattress that is waterproof, firm and flat
- For the first six months have your baby sleep in your room with you in a separate cot or suitable Moses basket.
- Do not co-sleep with your baby if you are a smoker, have been drinking, taken medicines / drugs, are exhausted, your baby was premature or has a low birth weight
- Avoid sleeping in a chair / or on the sofa with your baby
- Don’t allow your baby to get too hot
- Avoid using loose bedding and avoid your baby being able to cover their face / head when sleeping
- Avoid leaving toys in the cot or using pillows, soft bedding, bumpers and similar to avoid risk.
The tragedy that is SIDS is truly awful so please visit the Lullaby Trust website for more information, advice and support.