Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Most babies are healthy and have no problems when sleeping. But sometimes babies die in their sleep. This is called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or crib death. Doctors have not found out what causes SIDS.

Research shows that babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to die from SIDS. Unles your doctor tells you otherwise, always put your baby to sleep on its back.

Other factors in lowering the danger of SIDS are:

  • Breastfeeding - Your breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. Breast milk helps protect your baby from many illnesses, as well as SIDS.
  • Smoke-free environment - Don't allow smoking around your baby. Babies in smoke-free homes have fewer colds and infections.
  • Closeness - Keep your sleeping baby nearby. It’s good for your baby to learn to sleep in its own crib, but be sure you can hear any signals of distress.
  • Bedding - Be sure your baby is sleeping on a firm mattress. Don't put your baby to sleep on soft or fluffy things, such as a pillow, quilt or waterbed. Keep stuffed animals out of the crib at sleep time.
  • Temperature - Make sure your baby is warm but not too hot.
  • Doctor visits - Take your baby in for regular checkups. Any time your baby seems sick or has trouble breathing, take it to the doctor or clinic.