Is your Infant Baby Safe During Sleep Hours?

Posted on Healthcare By DoctorUna - Published on 2019-04-25

As first-time parents, you may be ready to do everything to keep your newborn baby fit and healthy. Yet, sometimes, an unforeseen tragedy can occur and a seemingly healthy baby with no previous medical condition may die suddenly. When a robust baby under the age of one passes away unexpectedly, usually during sleep, it is known as sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.

SIDS is also called cot death or crib death, as death occurs when they are asleep in their cribs. What makes it worse is the fact that SIDS is impossible to predict and alarmingly so, it is the primary cause of infant deaths of babies who are under the age of twelve months in the United States. As per reports, almost 1,600 infants die every year due to SIDS.

Causes of SIDS

Medical experts feel that SIDS symptoms can be linked with certain health issues or genetic causes that may lead to SIDS.

Some probable causes leading to SIDS:

  • Cerebrum Defects – Babies who have brain-related problems that impair their breathing, blood pressure, heartbeat rate, and wake up routine
  • Birth Weight – Most babies who have had premature births have increased chances of developing brain defects and have minimal or no control over automatic brain processes like breathing.
  • Infections – Many little infants involved in SIDS, may have suffered from common cold and breathing problems
  • Sleeping Style – Most infants who slept on their sides or on their stomachs are more at risk of SIDS due to the fact that such positions may lead to severe breathing problems during sleep.
  • Heat – Infants may be susceptible to SIDS when they are too warm or the atmosphere around them is too hot.

Other than these points, SIDS can also happen to infants who are snuggled up in huge fluffy comforters or when they sleep with their parents or siblings (sharing the same bed).

SIDS Risk Factors

Sudden infant death syndrome is unpredictable, it can strike any infant (below the age of one year). However, scientific researchers suggest that there are various underlying factors that increase the risk of SIDS. These include factors such as sex, premature birth, age, race, and family history.

For some strange unknown reasons boys are much more likely to contract SIDS, babies between 2 to 4 months of age are at their most vulnerable period and until now SIDS case has been more prevalent in non-white infants. Similarly, babies with a family history of SIDS episodes are at a higher risk. It should also be noted that infants who live with parents who are smokers are more prone to SIDS.

SIDS Prevention

If you are wondering about how can you prevent SIDS 2019? Well, there are some ways to minimize the risk of crib death. New researches have shown that you can reduce the risk of infant death or SIDS by adopting some clever precautions such as the following:

  • Place your baby on his/her back at night or during nap time.
  • Always use a firm and evenly flat mattress, preferably a safety certified crib mattress and a fitted cover in the sleeping area for the baby
  • Breastfeed the baby to keep SIDS at bay
  • While you may share the room with your baby, put him/her in a separate crib or flat surface designed for newborns
  • Keep soft toys, bumpers or any loose bedding away from baby's sleep area
  • Do not smoke or allow smoking in your home where your baby resides
  • Give your little one a pacifier with no attachments
  • Make sure the baby is not too hot
  • Do not let the baby be over-bundled with clothing during his/her sleep hours
  • Keep your baby's face and head part uncovered and free from clothing during sleep hours
  • Buy products that are compliant with safe sleep recommendations


What is SIDS & how does a baby get SIDS?

The sudden, unexplained and mysterious death of an infant under the age of one, while sleeping, is known as SIDS. Sudden infant death syndrome can happen to any baby who is a few months old. The baby dies a quick death and usually during his nap or sleep time. The real causes of SIDS are still unclear, according to medical science.

How can breastfeeding help prevent SIDS?

Breastfeeding is best for infants and it is full of health benefits for the baby as well as the mother. Babies who are breastfed for a longer duration are said to be at a lower risk for the dreaded SIDS.

Can newborns sleep on pillows?

No, a newborn should not sleep on a pillow as it can block the airway passages and cause him/her to suffocate.

How common is SIDS?

Although SIDS rate has decreased in recent years, more than 1500 U.S born babies under the age of one still face death due to SIDS. The crib death syndrome is also the 3rd most prevalent causes of infant mortality rate in the world.  

The SIDS statistics done in the United States in the year 2017 and an analytical breakdown suggest that 38% infant deaths happened due to SIDS, 36% infant deaths happened due to unknown causes and 26% babies died due to accidental suffocation when they were asleep.

Is SIDS painful?

SIDS hints at the sudden and unexpected demise of a baby, and may not be a painful one. In the case of SIDS, even the autopsy results do not provide the reason for death.

Can a SIDS episode be interrupted?

Yes, you can definitely try and reduce the risk of SIDS by following the above-mentioned precautions. You can also talk to your local paediatrician to discuss SIDS prevention. A SIDS episode can also be averted if you happen to be awake and watching your baby at the right moment when they may have stopped getting the vital brain signals connected with breathing or when they are getting suffocated due to clothing.


About Author


DoctorUna.com launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2012, Egypt and Jordan in 2013 and recently in Kuwait in 2014. The purpose of DoctorUna is to allow patients to quickly search for doctors from across a broad range of specialties, compare them and easily book a convenient appointment. DoctorUna gives doctors access to a larger pool of patients, streamlines and better manages their appointment booking process so they can spend more time caring for patients.

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