Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/07/2021 --Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or (SIDS) can often worry new parents. But the choice of sleep environment for babies can greatly reduce that risk.
"New parents may be tempted to decorate their baby's crib with stuffed animals, soft pillows, fluffy blankets, and cute bumpers," said Katrina Jensen, a nurse with Intermountain Healthcare. "But fluffy things in the crib can actually create a danger for infants."
The cause of SIDS is unknown, but research shows there are contributing factors. Soft surfaces, such as a couch, fluffy blanket, or pillow, can block an infant's airway. Overheating also can increase a baby's risk of SIDS.
"Parents should always place a baby on his or her back to sleep to help reduce the risk of SIDS," Jensen said. "Tummy time should be reserved for play when a parent or caretaker can engage with baby."
"Exhausted parents might be tempted to put baby in the bed with them, to help baby fall asleep. But it's best to let baby fall asleep on their own in a separate space to keep them safe," Jensen said. "If baby looks tired, get them swaddled and into their crib or bassinet so they can learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own, so you can get some sleep too."
Jensen makes these suggestions as ways to reduce risks for sleeping infants:
1. Place babies on their backs to sleep – studies show it's safer.
2. Never bed-share.
3. Place baby's crib in the same room where parents sleep until 6 months of age. (Room-sharing is recommended by pediatricians and decreases the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.
4. Use a firm mattress, covered with a fitted sheet, that fits snugly inside the crib.
5. Remove loose bedding and soft objects from the crib.
6. Do not overdress baby for bedtime. Babies are comfortable at the same temperature as siblings and parents.
7. Do not use car seats, swings or strollers as beds for infants under the age of four months for routine sleep.
8. Never smoke, drink, or use illicit drugs around an infant.
For more information, visit: Primarychildrens.org or Intermountain Mom's on social media.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,700 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in clinical quality improvement and in efficient healthcare delivery. For more information about Intermountain, visit intermountainhealthcare.org. For helpful advice for expectant moms and new parents, see Intermountain Moms online or follow us on www.facebook.com/intermountainmoms, www.instagram.com/intermountainmoms, or https://twitter.com/IntermtnMoms.