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Safe Sleep Habits and Crib Safety Tips for Your Newest Family Member

Oakdale ObGyn is committed to helping you and your family to be and stay healthy. Part of this commitment is helping to educate new parents about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and to give newborns a HALO® SleepSack® swaddle, which is used to help babies sleep safely.

Use this information in coming days and weeks with your baby to assure crib safety and a sound sleep.

What Is SIDS?

SIDS is a sudden, silent, unexplained death of an infant under the age of 1 who otherwise seems healthy. Unexplained deaths are the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age, many of which are related to unintentional suffocation. In fact, about 1,360 babies died of SIDS in 2017, the last year for which such statistics are available.

Most SIDS deaths occur to babies who are between 1 month and 4 months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths happen before a baby reaches 6 months of age. However, SIDS deaths can happen anytime during a baby’s first year.

What Causes SIDS?

Medical professionals don’t know exactly what causes SIDS, but scientists and health care providers are working very hard to find the cause(s) of SIDS. Even though we don’t know the exact cause, there are ways to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Risk Factors for SIDS

Babies are at HIGHER risk for SIDS if they:

  • Sleep on their stomachs
  • Sleep on soft surfaces, such as an adult mattress, couch, or chair or under soft coverings
  • Sleep on or under soft or loose bedding
  • Get too hot during sleep
  • Are exposed to cigarette smoke in the womb or in their environment, such as at home, in the car, in the bedroom, or other areas
  • Sleep in an adult bed with parents, other children, or pets.

Reduce Your Baby’s SIDS Risk with these Crib Safety Tips

Babies sleep a lot – up to 70% of the time in the first 2 weeks and up to 50% of the time as they grow into year 1.

  • Back is best: place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times, from naps to at night.
  • Use a swaddle like the HALO® with newborns to help reduce the chances of your baby rolling onto her/her stomach from its back or side. Use a sleep suit instead of blankets if baby is past the swaddle stage.
  • Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib.
  • Remove soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys from your baby’s sleep area. 
  • Have baby share your room in her/his own bed, not your bed.
  • Do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby.
  • Tell anyone caring for your baby about these tips. This includes grandparents, babysitters, childcare givers, and others who care for your baby.

Additional SIDS Resources

To learn more about SIDS and what you can do to reduce your baby’s risk, check out these resources.