In this parenting tips video learn about infant sleep position and their relation to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
How to Position Your Infant during Sleep Female: There are precautions that a new parent can take to reduce her child’s risk of SIDS. First and foremost, babies should sleep on their backs. John Kattwinkel: We know that if babies sleep on their stomach, prone sleeping is a very major risk factor for babies about two and a half times more likely to die of SIDS if they commonly sleep on their stomach. Female: This is a fairly recent finding. In fact it was not until 1992 that the American Academy of Pediatrics begun recommending baby sleeps on their backs. Since then however, SIDS deaths in the United States have dropped by more than 40%. Yet despite this significant drop, there are still plenty of people who haven’t heard the news. John Kattwinkel: Frequently, parents will take care of babies during the first month or two but then grandparents or daycare centers will take care of them in the highest age range for SIDS which is the three to five month range. Female: And grandparents or childcare providers who don’t know any better may place the baby on a stomach to sleep. This helps explain why 20% of SIDS cases occur in childcare settings. John Kattwinkel: Parents need to tell their parents or their daycare center that their baby normally sleeps on the back and they want them sleeping on their back in the daycare center. Female: For those parents who were worried that their child may spit up and choke while lying on its back, Dr. Kattwinkel has this to say. John Kattwinkel: Aspiration deaths have not gone up at all but they decreased a little bit since the back to sleep campaign and it’s not at all hazardous to place babies on their backs. Female: Another important precaution parents should take is to keep their babies crib free of pillows, stuffed animals, comforters and blankets, anything that could potentially interfere with the baby’s breathing. John Kattwinkel: A very simple firm mattress or the tight fitting sheet and a standard approved crib and she’ll sleep well on her back. Female: Another reason to avoid comforters and blankets is the babies who become overheated are also at greater risk for SIDS. In fact, SIDS occurs most often in the winter. John Kattwinkel: I noticed that you’ve got her in sleeper which is important because you don’t have to use extra blankets and anything else to keep her warm as long as the room is comfortable for you, it will be comfortable for her. Female: Another entirely preventable risk factor for SIDS is smoking. John Kattwinkel: We do know that mothers who smoke have a significantly higher chance of their baby dying of SIDS later on. And there are some suggestions that even if they don’t smoke during pregnancy but other members of the family smoke around the baby that perhaps this also increases the risk. Female: In the end, SIDS will take the life of about one in a thousand infants which means that there’s a very good chance that your baby will be safe. John Kattwinkel: We’re all going to be anxious that this might happen to our child but if you take the precautions, the chances are very high that it won't.