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SIDS (Safe Sleep)

What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the sudden death of a baby from unknown causes before the baby is one year old.  Most SIDS deaths occur when babies are between one and four months old.  baby on back in crib

How do I reduce the risk of SIDS?
Healthy babies should sleep on their backs.  Putting your baby to sleep on his or her back is one of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of SIDS.

To reduce the risk of SIDS and keep your sleeping baby safe:

Do not use infant sleep positioners.

CPSC and the FDA are warning parents and child care providers to:

Find out more about the warning and see what sleep positioners look like: Deaths prompt CPSC, FDA warning on infant sleep positioners.

What if my baby doesn’t like sleeping on their back?

Given a little time to adjust, your baby will probably grow used to sleeping on their back.  Read what one expert has to say about the question of babies who don’t seem to like it on their backs.  The fact is:  your baby’s risk of SIDS is much greater on their tummy than on their back.

Is it safe to sleep in a family bed (co-sleep) with my baby? cosleeping with "sidecar" set-up

Doctors do not all agree on whether co-sleeping is safe. Their concern is based on statistics that show that half of all child suffocation deaths occur in adult beds due to overlaying or suffocation in bedding. Therefore, many experts recommend not sleeping with your baby at all. Other doctors, however, believe co-sleeping can be safe if the necessary safety precautions are taken.

If you choose to sleep with your baby, here are the safety precautions to follow:

How can I find out more about babies, SIDS and sleep safety?tummy time

What are some organizations that work on the issues of SIDS and infant death?

These groups may be able to provide counseling and support if you have lost a baby to SIDS.


Reviewed by faculty and staff at the University of Michigan

Updated October 2005


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U-M Health System Related Sites:
U-M Pediatrics

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