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What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)? And Should I Be Worried about SIDS?

I’ve heard about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Is it something I should be worried about for my infant? What can I do to protect my child?

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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is real. Beyond that, it’s the most common cause of death for babies in the U.S. But there might be some mixed messages out there about SIDS.

Here are a few things to know:

  • The exact cause of SIDS is not quite known.
  • As a whole, SIDS includes disturbances of regular breathing during sleep.
  • SIDS occurs most often during the first and four months of a baby’s life.
  • External stressors such as tobacco smoke, overheating, and sleeping facedown can have negative impacts.

Here are a few things you can do to prevent SIDS for your baby:

  • Stay away from cigarettes or allowing anyone to smoke in your home after your baby is born.
  • Lay your baby down on his or her back as often as possible unless your baby is premature or based on other recommendations from your pediatrician. Monitor if he or she flips over in the middle of sleeping too.
  • When your baby is asleep, make sure he or she is surrounded by safe surfaces, pillows, and sheets or blankets. Also, don’t overwrap or bundle your baby before sleep.

Taking care of a newborn can be equally exciting and frightening. For more insight and guidance in raising your newborn, check out our resources here.

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