If you are one of those parent’s whose baby sleeps on his tummy or in a separate room with two pillows on both sides of the bed, so that the baby does not rollover, then I would suggest you change the habit. Baby sleeping on tummy or alone in a room can lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is not a disease or illness. It is the name given when a healthy baby dies without any warning. Parents making their babies sleep with them is a very common practice in India, which in turn increases the chance of SIDS 5 folds.
What Is SIDS
It is a term given to the sudden unexpected death of healthy infants of age 0-12 months. It is most likely to happen when the baby is sleeping at night or taking a nap during the day. SIDS is also known as Cot's Death. SIDS has no history and post-death investigation cannot explain the reason of death.
What can Cause SIDS?
There is no known cause for the syndrome, but possible factors/high-risk groups are:
- Premature Babies
- Low Birth weight
- Malnourished babies
- Smoking, alcohol or drug intake by the mother during pregnancy
- Inadequate prenatal care
- Pregnancy before the age of 20
Studies also suggest that certain physical factors may also lead to SIDS like:
Brain abnormalities in which the portion of the brain that controls breathing and arousal from the sleep does not work properly.
Premature birth in which the brain is not mature enough to control the automatic process such as breathing and heart rate.
Even babies with a recent cold which led to respiratory infections can be at risk of SIDS.
However, it can be avoided by certain precautions and sleep safety recommendations.
If you want your child to be safe inside your womb or when he joins you in the world, you have to leave certain habits. Firstly start taking care of yourself when you are pregnant. Disconnect yourself to smoking, drinking alcohol or any other drug intake during pregnancy and after you deliver the baby. Breastfeed your child for at least 6 months to avoid SIDS.
There are certain safety sleep habits to avoid the SIDS which we should strictly follow before it is too late.
- Use a separate bed or crib for the baby but in the same room where you sleep and keep it near to you.
- Always make your baby sleep on his/her back. Never on the tummy or sides ways.
- Do not use a soft mattress, instead, use a firm mattress.
- Do not cover the baby face with sheets or blankets
- Do not put soft toys or extra pillows inside the crib.
- Use Comfortable clothing
- Normal room temperature
A safe sleeping environment for your baby will reduce the risks of SIDS. It should be your duty to make the home as safe as it is inside the womb of the mother. Bring awareness to other parents as well, tell them how safety while sleeping can prevent being a victim of SIDS.