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Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) - how do I minimise the risk?

SIDS is a rare condition, but it is so frightening that nearly every new parent has heard of it. SIDS has no known cause.

The best and only prevention for SIDS is placing your baby on her back to sleep in her crib. There are studies showing that placing your baby on her stomach to sleep greatly increases her risk for SIDS.

While your baby is awake and you can see her, you can put her on her tummy. But while she is sleeping, safer is better. Sleeping on her back protects her from SIDS.
Make sure your crib meets current safety standards and your baby’s sheet is tight fitting. Keep your baby’s crib free from extra blankets and stuffed animals. You don’t want anything inside the crib that could smother your baby.

Do not overheat your baby while she is trying to sleep. Just a light blanket is enough. Keep your baby’s crib area free from smoke.

Because SIDS was known as cot death for many years, some older individuals may advise you to avoid putting the baby in her cot to sleep. They mistakenly believe this will protect your baby from dying in her sleep. There is no truth to this. Her cot is the best place for your baby to sleep.

There are new products on the market that claim to reduce SIDS risk. But the reality is the most important things that you can do to keep your baby safe do not cost any money.

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