I hate writing about sad and depressing subjects.

Newborns bring us an immense amount of joy, love and happiness. But with that also can come heartache, nervousness, and sometimes even death.

I’ve known a handful of people since my first child was born, 5 years ago, that have experienced the awful, dreaded and fearful death of SIDS.

SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age that doesn’t have a known cause even after a complete investigation.

Some people can get confused on the difference between SIDS and sleep-related caused deaths. Suffocation, entrapment, when baby gets trapped between two objects, such as a mattress and wall, and can’t breathe; or strangulation, when something presses on or wraps around baby’s neck, blocking baby’s airway. These deaths are not SIDS.

Below are some ways we can prevent SIDS. Some I had no idea about. These facts came from www.cpsc.gov.

  1. Breastfeed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS. Breastfeeding has many health benefits for mother and baby.
  2. Give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS. Don’t force the baby to use it. If the pacifier falls out of the baby’s mouth during sleep, there is no need to put the pacifier back in. Wait until the baby is used to breastfeeding before you try pacifier.
  3.  Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep. Dress your baby in light sleep clothing or in no more than one layer more of clothing than an adult would wear to be comfortable. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.
  4. Use a firm sleep surface, covered by a fitted sheet, to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Do not use car seat, carrier, swing or similar product as baby’s everyday sleep area. Never place baby on soft surfaces, such as on a couch or sofa, pillows, quilts, sheepskins, or blankets.
  5. Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.

Number 3 is something that I need to remember. I always think my baby is freezing cold and I tend to wrap them in a million different things. I also think that if they are warm enough that they will sleep longer. Obviously that is not a good idea. Just a nice comfortable temperature is good enough.

Here are some common questions about SIDS that I know every parent ask themselves.

1.What is the best way to reduce my baby’s risk for SIDS?

Placing your baby on his or her back to sleep for EVERY sleep time is the best way to reduce the risk of SIDS. This includes nap time as well.

2. Will my baby choke if placed on the back to sleep?

No. Healthy babies naturally swallow or cough up fluids. It’s a reflex all people have. Babies might actually clear such fluids better when on their backs.

3. What if my baby rolls onto the stomach on his or her own during sleep? Do I need to put my baby in the back sleep position again if this happens?

No. Rolling over is an important and natural part of your baby’s growth. Most babies start rolling over on their own around 4 to 6 months of age. If your baby rolls over on his or her own during sleep, you do not need to turn the baby over onto his or her back. The important thing is that the baby start off every sleep time on his or her back to reduce the risk of SIDS, and that there is no soft, loose bedding in the baby’s sleep area.

(these Q&A’s came from the Eurice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)

These precious little newborns bring us the greatest amount of joy. Let us not loose sleep over worrying about it, but let us be aware and informed on how we can reduce the risk of SIDS.

xoxo Ashton