All parents would worry about the SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) cot death and want to know the ways to prevent it. These deaths include infection, trauma, suffocation as well as entrapment. Cot deaths rev up anxiety and asphyxia. Parents should never let their babies sleep on cushioned chair, couch or sofa. It can be extremely hazardous. However, you do have options to prevent cot death in infants. Some of them are mentioned below
Infants should sleep in the room of their parents for at least first 6 to 8 months. It can be a little exhausting but it is an amazing way to allow easier night time feeding and better safety. Room sharing lowers the risk of cot deaths by 50%. But, having the baby in your room doesn’t mean you have to make the baby sleep in your bed.
2.Keep baby on the back in a normal, boring and bare crib
Make the baby sleep on their back when you put them in the crib. Side sleeping isn’t secure. There are instances where reflux and spitting have led to choking. Make sure you place the baby on his/ her back on a fitted sheet without any cushion, bumpers, stuffed animals or blanket. Sometimes babies roll over, so make sure you police them. Infants less than 4 months shouldn’t be allowed to sleep in swings and car seats as they take positions which are at a risk of suffocation or airway obstruction and asphyxiating condition.
3.Prefer breastfeeding over formula to lower the risk
Breastfeeding has shown positive results in lowering the risk of cot death. Breastfeed in the middle of night gives you the luxury to check your baby and nurse him/ her. AAP suggests feed baby in a bed without any blanket or pillow and then shifting them to their firm surface. If you fall asleep in the mid and the minute you realize shift the baby back to the crib immediately.
4.Do not consume alcohol, cigarette or drug
Avoid exposing your baby to any kind of drug, alcohol or smoke during pregnancy or in infancy. It means you don’t want smoking or alcohol in a place where you have baby and not even the nursing mom should consume it. Babies are at a bigger risk when they share a bed with a smoker or alcohol user.
5.Make use of pacifiers
You can offer your baby a pacifier during bed time. AAP suggests offering a pacifier to the infants during naps and at night. You don’t have to police the pacifier. For the infants who are on breastfeed, pacifier usage should be delayed till breastfeeding is well established.
6.No monitoring will prevent cot deaths
You do not require any technology in your baby crib to prevent SIDS. Do not use alarms or non-technological stuff like positioners to lower the risk of cot deaths. They do not lower the risk rather increase anxiety by setting off alarms and disturbing the parents and baby. All you can do is use a monitor to listen and know about your infant and ensure that there is not risk of suffocations.
7.Go for vaccination punctually
Every study shows that declining immunization or delaying it enhances risk quotient. Infants should get all the needed vaccinations. Being punctual with vaccination protects your baby and has a protective impact from SIDS.
8.Do not crank the heat
Do not over bundle the baby during night hours as it will overheat him/ her. You can also use a small fan against SIDS to reduce this suffocation.
9.Tummy hour in the day
Go for supervised and awake tummy hour to help in development. During the day keep the baby on their back and allow them to discover the floor on the blanket with toys. Join them in their play.
10.Swaddling is fine in the early infancy stage
Find the swaddling rules. Swaddling is fine in infants but isn’t important. Prevent swaddling and place the baby on their tummy or sideways. Try to avoid swaddling when your baby shows the first sign of rolling. Rolling over may increase the chance of cot deaths