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SIDS – What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? Sudden Infant Death – important points: • Statistics about SIDS • Facts about suddent infant death • 5 Ways to reduce the risk of your baby suffering SIDS • How to sleep your baby – and the importance sleeping on its back • The importance of tummy time for newborns

Statistics about SIDS Something which strikes fear into every parent’s heart is the thought of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. Although public education campaigns in Australia have significantly reduced the number of babies who die from SIDS it’s still estimated that around one baby in every 3,000 will be affected.Australian statistics about SIDS are similar to other Western countries, equating to approximately 88 babies every year. There have been plenty of theories relating to the cause of SIDS, however, the truth is we don’t know the definitive reason why it happens. However when parents use safe sleeping recommendations to settle their baby, the risk is reduced. So much so that since the early 1990s, the number of babies who have died from SIDS is more than half of what it used to be. Facts about SIDS: A slightly higher proportion of boy babies die compared to girls The peak age is between 2-4 months, but it can occur in younger and older babies Breastfed and bottle fed babies can die from SIDS There are no warning signs. Occasionally, babies who have died from SIDS have had a mild respiratory infection or have not fed well the day before, but this isn’t always the case • Babies are more at risk if their head or face is covered • Babies exposed to cigarette smoke during pregnancy and after birth are more at risk • • • •


5 Ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death: 1. Sleep your baby on their back from birth. Side or tummy sleeping increases the risk. 2. Keep your baby in a smoke free environment. Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke before and after birth. 3. Make sure your baby’s head is uncovered during sleep. Soft doonas, duvets, bumpers, lamb’s wool, soft toys and pillows are not recommended. 4. Make sure your baby sleeps in a cot and environment which are both safe. 5. Place your baby’s bassinette or cot next to your bed for the first 6-12 months of their life.

How to sleep your baby Babies who sleep on their back learn to roll onto their tummy later than babies who sleep on their sides. This isn’t a problem and they soon learn to catch up. Back sleeping is thought to be protective because of this delay in rolling onto the higher risk tummy position in the particularly vulnerable early months. It’s easy for parents to become anxious about SIDS, but it’s important not to let this impact on the pleasure and joy of daily care giving. Love your baby, follow sensible, safe guidelines and importantly, do what feels right for you and your little one.

Tummy Time Some babies develop a flat spot on their head from lying in the same position, a condition known as Positional Plagiocephaly. This does not cause permanent problems with brain growth or development and is purely cosmetic. Once babies are sitting and rolling and generally more mobile, the pressure is alleviated and their head assumes a more normal, rounded shape. Give your baby the opportunity to lie on their tummy when they are awake and you are watching them – known as tummy time. This will help them to build strength in their neck muscles and upper body. For more information regarding : Eagle Natal Plus and Health Services Online please visit here : hygiology.com.au


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome