Once a family brings a child into the world, they most likely start to worry about them from the very first night. This is to be expected, although some things are out of your control. One thing parents are probably worried about is SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome. This syndrome takes the lives of many babies each year worldwide, but it isn’t fully understood. There is no solid cause, but there are risk factors which pediatricians attribute to higher rates.
However there are ways to lessen your baby’s chances of SIDS and they are very easy changes to institute into your life.
Lessening Risk Factors
- Choking hazards: Many people agree that some SIDS deaths are because the baby couldn’t get enough air to breathe. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the baby has nothing in the crib with them, including extra sheets, heavy blankets, or toys. More importantly, a child should always be placed on their backs when put down to take a nap. This is because babies don’t have strong muscles yet, so some are not able to lift their bodies up enough to breathe if they are laid on their stomach. They also cannot roll over on their own.
- Stabilizing temperature: Make sure that baby isn’t getting too cold or hot during the night. If you have to, check on them rather frequently to make sure they aren’t sweating or shivering.
- Smoking: Do what you can to nix smoking after you have a baby. Children that have been exposed to smoke are more likely to be affected by SIDS. Besides that, they can have other problems later in life, such as allergies or epilepsy if they are exposed to secondhand smoke long-term.
- Inform Yourself: As a new mother, there is a ton of information that you will need to know to properly care for your young cub. Try to stay informed of things that may greatly affect you and your baby, so you know what to do if you see any warning signs. Well informed parents usually keep up with doctor’s appointments and immunizations, which lead to healthier babies.
- Breastfeed: Babies that are breastfed have a long list of things they can thank their moms for later in life. A lower risk of SIDS is one of the things in that list. Feed them as long as possible for the best results.
- Monitor Baby: The most common thing that people do to keep their kids from falling victim to SIDS is to watch over them closely. This usually means they sleep in the bed with baby or move the crib into the master bedroom. While sleeping in the bed with a baby can be dangerous; after all, you can roll over on them, or they may roll over and not be able to breathe properly. On the other hand, moving the crib into your room so you can watch over it is a great thing to do. That way each time you wake up, you can check the baby’s temperature, make sure they are on their back, and monitor their breathing. This is really the only thing that may help some people be able to sleep at night, so if it makes you feel better, do it.
- Join the Fight: If your child does succumb to SIDS, your fight is still not over. This is a syndrome that can be widely eradicated if people knew what to do. Tell everyone you know what the risk factors are and how they can lessen them, to give the babies a greater chance.