SIDS: 8 Ways to Prevent It

Ever heard of SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or Cot Death? What is the mystery behind it?

If I could find Sherlock Holmes, I would ask him to hunt down the reason behind Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. After extensive research through out the years, cot death remains a mystery. Every year hundreds of children die “suddenly” without a known reason. This is the reason why it is also known as SID or Sudden Infant Death syndrome. Even after the post-mortem is performed, the reason of death remains unknown. Spooky, isn’t it?

The facts and the figures:

In UK it is believed that nearly 300 babies die every year of cot death. In Australia 90 babies become its victim every year. The SID figure in the United States is very alarming. The American SIDS institute quoted 2,500 deaths per annum, whereas the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention stated that the figure of sudden unexpected infant death is 4,500. That’s a huge number!

Newborn babies that are more prone to it:

The SID or cot death figure keeps on varying in different countries. Cot deaths occur without any geographical boundaries, however, as per the statistics, it is more common in the Western world than in Asian countries. Also, babies who are less than 6 months old are more prone to it and about 60% of the victim babies are boys.

Furthermore, this sudden infant death is mostly observed in premature babies as well as those babies who have a low birth weight. Many researches believe that cot deaths occur in babies who have some unidentified brain problems, but no one knows for sure.

Cot deaths are mostly observed in babies whose parents smoke, or in babies who are one of the twins or triplets. Having said that, there have been many cases in which cot deaths were encountered by healthy babies living in healthy conditions.

So the bottom line is: We do not know what causes it but we can use the statistics to have a clear idea about its victims.

How to prevent it?

Since no one knows the causes of cot death, nothing can be done much for its prevention. However, try keeping your baby safe from SIDs by following these steps:

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  1. Always place newborn babies on their back when they are sleeping.
  2. Make sure your baby is not too heated during his sleep.
  3. Keep your little one’s head uncovered. If you are in favor of swaddling your baby, make sure you read our article on how to swaddle her properly.
  4. Don’t smoke during your pregnancy. If your partner does, ask him not to, as second hand smoking is dangerous to health.
  5. Once your newborn is born, avoid anyone smoking in the same room.
  6. Check the cot sheets and blanket – all of these should be neatly tucked in as loose sheets may suffocate the baby. Read our article on buying the perfect baby crib to avoid all sorts of cot dangers.
  7. It is recommended that you put your baby’s cot in your room especially in the first six months. Also, read our article on co-sleeping.
  8. Avoid baby pacifiers when your newborn is asleep.

Scared? You don't have to be.

If you are scared at this point, I can totally relate to it! I really was when I had my first baby – I remember waking up in the middle of night multiple times just to check on my newborn – whether she is breathing or not! It’s a scary feeling, but then, you are parent and you are bound to get so many weird thoughts. Just keep a continuous check on your baby and she will be safe.


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