While it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), there are certain precautions parents can take to lower their child’s risk, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
- Use a mattress that’s firm and the appropriate size for the crib; cover it with only a fitted sheet.
- Remove any loose bedding, plush animals or blankets from the crib.
- Have your child sleep in the same room as you but in her own sleep space; do not share a bed.
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or after birth, and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke as well.
- Ensure your child does not get overheated while sleeping.
- Breastfeed your baby.
- Offer a pacifier at naptime and nighttime; if you’re nursing, wait until breastfeeding is well-established.
- Allow plenty of tummy time during the day.
- Follow your pediatrician’s recommendations on vaccinations and well-checks.