What Can I Do To Reduce My Baby’s Risk of SIDS?
- Place your baby on his/her back to sleep, for night time and nap time sleep throughout the first year of life. Stomach and side sleeping positions are dangerous and should be avoided.
- Do not smoke while you are pregnant and do not let anyone smoke around your baby or in your home.
- The baby’s crib should have a firm mattress, covered by a thin fitted sheet.
- The baby should be wearing what he/she needs for warmth rather than covering the baby with blankets or quilts.
- Pillows, stuffed animals, bumper pads and similar items should not be in the baby’s sleep area.
- Do not use wedges or other positioning devices – they are not proven to reduce risk and have been a possible causative factor in SIDS type deaths.
- Do not let the baby sleep on soft things like cushions, pillows, comforters, the couch, armchairs, an adult bed or waterbed.
- Do not let your baby get too hot. Do not over bundle your baby in blankets or clothes. If your baby is sweating, flushed, has damp hair, or a heat rash the baby may be too hot – remove a layer(s) of clothing and/or keep the room cooler. A baby that has a fever, is breathing fast, or seems to not be able to rest, may also be too hot.
- Take good care of yourself when you are going to have a baby. See your doctor regularly when you are pregnant.
- Take good care of your baby. Keep your well baby appointments. Take your baby to the doctor when he/she seems sick.
- Breastfeed your baby. In addition to reducing the risk of SIDS, breastfeeding has been shown to prevent ear infections, allergies and other infant health problems.
- Consider using a pacifier for sleep times, pacifiers have proven to be a possible protective factor. If your baby is breastfeeding, wait one month until breastfeeding is established before introducing the pacifier.
- Remember that a crib is the safest place for babies to sleep. Sleeping with adults and other children and in places other than a safe crib increases the risk for SIDS and accidental suffocation.
Because smoking is also a risk factor for sudden infant death, it is important that pregnant women avoid smoking. Parents should also avoid exposing their babies to 2nd hand smoke.
If you need assistance to quit smoking; please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).
If you live in St. Louis County, please visit the website below:
If you live in St. Louis City; please visit:
If you live in Kansas City, please visit: