Your Baby Sleep Position And SIDS
Learn How To Minimise The Risk Of Cot Death
Do you fall asleep flat on your back? No? Well it's not a very comfortable sleep position for most people. Not for many babies either.
But there is a very strong reason to teach your baby to fall asleep and sleep on his back. And that is, I'm sure you've heard, that the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or cot death is a lot lower with back sleeping.
Even if very few babies actually die from SIDS, most parents worry about it, of course.
So what can parents do to really minimize the risk of SIDS?
Baby Sleep Postion To Prevent SIDS
Sleep position: On the back
When the general recommendation came to let infants sleep on their backs, the incidence of SIDS fell everywhere. While there are other factors as well increasing the risk for SIDS, sleeping on the stomach is the highest risk factor your baby. So choose the right sleep position - back sleeping - and let your baby get used to it.
If you're worried that your baby will choke or get a flat head sleeping on his back, click here for answers.
Pacifier in mouth
Recently it was found that a pacifier actually reduces the risk of SIDS. It is not clear why, but experts believe that the pacifier might make it easier for the baby to wake up, that breathing through the mouth is facilitated and that babies turn less to sleep on their stomachs when using a pacifier.
Firm MattressA firm mattress is good to avoid the risk of causing breathing problems in case the baby rolls over to his stomach.
For an organic mattress without any harmful chemicals check out this one at Amazon.
Be careful with blankets and stuffed animalsBe very careful not to place blankets of stuffed animals into the crib in a way so that the baby might pull them over his face.
Consider buying a sleeping bag, such as the Grobag Sleeping Bag, which I've used and really like to eliminate the risk that the baby covers its face with a blanket if it is too cold to sleep without some kind of bedding.
Cool sleep temperatureMake sure that the baby is not too warm and that it can move its body. This is important also in his or her stroller.
No smoking around the baby
Smoking both during pregnancy and near the baby after birth has a clear connection with SIDS. For example, smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for SIDS by 3 to 4 times and more the more the mother smokes.
Breastfeeding appears to lower the risk for SIDS. Different studies show somewhat contradictory results, but there seem to be a slightly lower risk among babies that are breastfed completely for at least four months.
Well, these are the present guidelines to help parents reduce the risk for cot death as much as possible. But since research isn't clear yet on the causes of SIDS, recommendations are likely to conitue to develop. A fairly recent study in 2007 indictated found the same hearing impairment in all babies in the study that had dies from SIDS. Hence it is possible that it will be possible in the future to identify babies that are at risk for SIDS using a simply hearing test.
If you want to learn more about SIDS precautions, I can really recommend the potentially life-saving DVD Saving Baby's Life...When Every Second Counts. This is an award winning DVD on infant CPR. Should be in every baby's home, in my opinion.
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