Every year 3,600 infants die due to sleep-related deaths
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. Of those, about 90 percent of SIDS cases occur before baby hits the 6-month mark.
SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs. In 79 percent of these cases, babies were either sleeping in an adult bed or in their crib/bassinet with pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, fluffy bumpers or loose clothing.
These deaths can be prevented by following the Safe Sleep Guidelines developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2016.
What does a safe crib environment look like?
Did you receive the most beautiful handmade blanket or precious stuffed animal from a friend or family member? We know you may feel the desire to let your baby sleep with their cute gift, but keep it clean and simple when setting up your crib.
Here are five tips to creating the safest sleep environment for your baby:
- Always lay your baby on his or her back in the crib. Babies should always sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Use a firm, flat mattress in a safety-approved crib. A firm surface maintains its shape and will not indent or conform to the shape of the infant’s head when placed on the surface. Soft mattresses can create a pocket (or indentation) and increase the chance of rebreathing or suffocation if the infant is placed in or rolls over to the prone (face down) position. Also, the crib should not have bumper pads.
- Share your room with baby and keep baby close to your bed, but in their own crib or bassinet. Room sharing reduces the risk of SIDS. Baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or on a chair alone, with you or with anyone else. Having a separate safe sleep surface for the baby reduces the risk of SIDS and the chance of suffocation, strangulation and entrapment.
- Keep baby’s sleeping area free of soft and loose bedding, such as bumpers, stuffed animals and blankets. Soft objects, such as pillows and pillow-like toys, quilts, and loose bedding such non-fitted sheets, can obstruct an infant’s nose and mouth. An obstructed airway can pose a risk of suffocation, entrapment, or SIDS.
- If the crib is near a window, remove pull cords or use cord shorteners on window dressings. Those curious little arms like to reach out and cords can so easily get wrapped around your precious little one.
By following these simple guidelines, you can help reduce your infants’ risk of SIDS.
How can you help spread awareness?
We’re asking moms, dads and parent influencers to help model a safe sleep environment to generate visibility for unaware parents, grandparents and other caregivers and help them understand the vital importance of safe sleep practices.
By committing only to post images of babies in safe sleep situations you can become one of First Candle’s Safe Sleep Guardians. First Candle is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to reducing the rates of SIDS and educating new and expectant parents on the importance of providing a safe sleep environment for their baby. And for those families who have tragically lost a baby, they offer bereavement support and counsel.
Colgate Mattress has a longstanding relationship with First Candle and is honored to be a Safe Sleep Guardian. We encourage you to also show that you support First Candle and are committed to helping us save babies’ lives.