Baby Sleep Safety

Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for

moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides

solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies

and toddlers.

Being a new parent is an exciting time in life. It’s also quite overwhelming. There are all sorts of

things that new parents need to learn. Some of the basics include learning to hold you baby,

learning to feed your baby, and of course learning to change your baby’s diaper. Then there is

the whole challenge of learning to put your baby down to sleep. This is an art in and of itself,

but you also need to take special care to put them down to sleep safely.

What Is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one of the scariest thing facing new parents. In fact, it

claims the lives of 3,500 infants in the US every year. Perhaps the most anxiety producing part

of SIDS is that often times, there doesn’t seem to be any good explanation for why it happens.

This fact has led to many a sleepless night for new parents.

While SIDS is unexplained in many cases, there are actions that you can take in order to

minimize the risk of it happening:

Substance use and abuse. Mothers that drink alcohol or take illicit drugs during

pregnancy put their babies at a higher risk for SIDS. The same holds true for smoking. In

fact, even being around someone that smokes can heighten the risk of SIDS for babies.

Premature birth. Babies that are born early have a higher risk. While you might not be

able to do anything to impact your little one’s delivery date, it’s good to be aware of this

fact so that you can be extra cautious.

Breastfeeding. Breastfed babies have a lower incidence of SIDS than formula fed


Temperature. If a baby sleeps in a room that is too hot, they will be at a higher risk for

SIDS. The same holds true for babies that are overdressed, since this can lead to


The risk associated with SIDS is particularly acute in the early days. In fact, 90% of SIDS cases

happen in the first six months or life. Babies under four months of age are at the highest risk.

That’s not to say that the risk goes away entirely after your little one hits the six month mark.

But, the risk does decrease significantly.