The highly mysterious, yet terrifying phenomenon of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a condition that strikes terror in the heart of every parent and guardian. Also known as cot death, these fatal sleeping accidents continue to dominate the headlines as one of the most common causes of unexpected deaths of new-borns between the first month and one year of age.
Due to the numerous initiatives and awareness activities by family, parent and child groups across countries there has been a drastic reduction in the number of SIDS related deaths since 1990. Although, there are no conclusive answers yet on the causes of SIDS, specific steps and precautions can be highly effective in preventing the condition from taking place. With input and research coming in from paediatricians, researchers, pathologists and parents in this field, guidelines are being laid based on scientific evidence on how to prevent and help save your baby from SIDS.
1. Babies must be put to sleep on their backs, right from the time they are born, not on their stomachs or on either side. However, if your baby is suffering from reflux or could develop a deformed head also known as positional plagiocephaly, it is important to speak to your paediatrician or child expert for advice.
2. While putting your baby to sleep, keep the face and the head unveiled or unwrapped. Do not include any stuffed toys around your baby, before the age of six months. Ideally, the bedding around your baby should not include any of the following: comforters, duvets, pillows, cot bumpers or eiderdowns. According to research from SIDS And Kids, it was seen that over 70% of babies who died of SIDS were found with their faces and heads wrapped in some form of swaddling. Due to the subsequent blockage of airways and overheating, babies were found to have died due to suffocation.
3. Ensure that your baby is in a no-smoke atmosphere. Doctors highly recommend that would-be mothers should not be around smokers neither should they smoke for the well-being of the mother and child. Smokers must not be allowed anywhere next to a crèche, nursery or around windows and vents leading to a new-born’s sleeping room.
4. In addition to a smoke-free environment, it is also important to ensure that the sleeping environment of the new born is safe both during day and night. For example, in Australia, Standards Australia And Standards New Zealand has issued a voluntary standard for all new born sleeping surfaces that should be defined as a safe cot, on a safe mattress with a safe bedding, in order to cut down the probability of death or accidental harm to new-borns. According to child experts, who have been instrumental in developing the new standard, sleeping surfaces for new-borns that are too soft has more than six times the chance of dying from SIDS as compared to sleeping on a surface tested by the Australian and New Zealand standard.
5. It is preferable to sleep in the same room as that of the baby, although on a different sleeping place or a cot, at least for the first 6 to 8 months. There are number of advantages to sharing a room with a new born baby and some of them include better and closer bonding with the baby, the ability of responding swiftly to baby’s demands and a more convenient setting. A number of studies have revealed that when a committed guardian or a parent is sleeping in the same room as that of the new born child, but not on the same bed, the chances of SIDS reduces by over 60%, as compared to new-borns sleeping in a separate room.
Author Bio: Malvika Agrawal is a blogger and working as webmaster for bestbabymonitor2by.com. Studied computer technology and remains interested in blogging and sharing innovative ideas and worthwhile information. Check out her Google+!