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5 Simple Ways To Prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Today

SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is every parents worst nightmare.  But, what if there were 5 Simple Ways To Prevent SIDS that you could begin doing today?  Well, look no further, friend.  Today I’ll share with you 5 ways to easily and quickly prevent SIDS and give you piece of mind every time to lay your little one down to sleep.

{This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite baby products.  To read my Disclosure Policy click here!}

1. Create A Safe Sleep Environment

The first and best thing you can do to keep your baby safe, is to create a safe sleep environment.  A safe sleep environment according to the American Academy of Pediatrics is alone, on his back, in a crib.  It is extremely important to introduce your baby to his own sleeping environment early on.  A crib and bassinet are safe options as long as they are empty.  And, by empty…I mean really empty.  No bumper pads, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals….nothing.

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If you feel more comfortable having your baby near you during sleep time, then by all means, move his crib or bassinet into your bedroom until he is older.  But, it is simply not safe for your baby to sleep with you in the bed, no matter how many promising articles you read about co-sleeping.  I know it’s hard, but it’s the safest thing for your baby.

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2. Lay Baby On His Back to Sleep

While we are talking about a safe sleep environment for you baby, I should also mention that it’s safest for your baby to lay on his back.  I know all the grandma’s in the world are screaming from near and far, “but you slept on your belly, and you turned out just fine”.  And, to be quite honest, most babies prefer to sleep on their tummies.

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But, there is new evidence that a baby is actually safer sleeping on their backs.  In fact, a newborn’s anatomy proves this case to be true.  When a baby lies on his back, the baby’s trachea (or “wind pipe”) is actually above the baby’s esophagus (the “tube” where the food goes down into his stomach).  The baby gets more fresh air when on his back, and is less likely to overheat.  Watch the video below for a more detailed explanation…

I know there are many gadgets and gizmo’s out there that promise to deliver a good nights sleep.  And, what exhausted parents don’t long for a few good Zzzz’s?  But, quite simply, a DockATot and/or Rock ‘N Play are not safe sleep environments.  I know they are cute, and your baby looks so snuggly and comfy in them.  But, a baby needs to be laid down on his back to sleep.


3. Wrap Baby In A Light Swaddle Blanket or Sleepsack

When lying your baby down to sleep for the night, dress your baby in one extra light layer of clothing than you usually wear to bed.  Don’t worry.  Your baby doesn’t need a billion fluffy warm blankets to keep him warm overnight.

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All your baby needs is a light swaddle blanket or sleep sack to keep him comfortable at bedtime.  If you choose to swaddle your baby in a light blanket, do so only up until the time that the baby begins to move or roll around or until 2 months of age.  By 2 months old, transition your baby into a sleep sack for bedtime and naps.  Sleep sacks tend to be a little bit safer, because it is less likely the baby could become entangled in a sleep sack verses a loose blanket, and coincidently suffocate.

Remember, no additional blankets should be in the crib with your baby.  They may be cozy and snuggly, but in the worse case scenario they can be dangerous.

4. Allow Your Baby To Fall Asleep With A Pacifier

Believe it or not, sucking on a pacifier reduces your baby’s risk of SIDS.  According to researchers, sucking on a pacifier may hinder your baby from falling into a deep enough sleep where he forgets to breathe, which may be a cause of SIDS.

If your baby doesn’t like sucking on a pacifier, however, don’t force him to.  And, if your baby spits it out after they’ve fallen asleep, don’t rush into the nursery trying to shove it back in your baby’s mouth.

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5. Invest In An Owlet Smart Sock

I have heard many mommy friends ranting and raving about how amazing Owlet Smart Sock is.  It tracks your baby’s breathing and heart rate while he sleeps, and sends reports to your smart phone through an app.  If you are at work {or out shopping…I won’t tell} you can check on your baby’s status while away too.  There is a base, as well as the app, that will alert you if it detects a problem with your baby.

I’ve heard many parents say that the Owlet Smart Sock by far was the best purchase they made for their baby.  It gives them piece of mind and lets them rest peacefully knowing that their baby is safe. It’s definitely worth the investment.

True Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has been linked to neurological conditions.  But, most of the SIDS cases we hear about on the news or from friends, are the result of unsafe sleep conditions.  Baby fell asleep with mom in bed while nursing and is smothered.  Or, baby is laid down in his crib but suffocates on the blanket or bumper pad.

Most SIDS deaths are preventable, if we just heed the warnings and follow safe sleep strategies.


If you are looking for more ways to keep your baby safe, check out this post about car seat safety.  And, for insider tips on how to best prepare to have your baby, click here.

What safe sleep strategy will you begin using today?  Do you have tips or tricks for other moms on how to prevent SIDS, as well?  Let us know in the comments below.

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  • I absolutely love and respect this article, and followed most of it with my first baby but I have a question. In the middle of the night when baby DOES need to wake to nurse (I am not talking about older infants but newborns), the thought of putting him/her back to sleep on a flat crib makes me nervous because my son had acid reflux and I think he slept better in the rock and play, at least until we moved him to a crib at 3 months. We did angle the mattress a bit for some elevation which I think was good. What do you think about an angled mattress vs. straight/flat?

    • Hi, Rebecca! Thanks so much for stopping by! Oiy….the acid reflux debate is a tough one. When I worked pediatrics we had many parents come in requesting that their child be elevated due to acid reflux while they slept. My advice would be to ask your pediatrician. Laying the baby flat is best to prevent SIDS, but acid reflux is one of those special cases. I usually encourage the parents I take care of to hold their babies for 30 minutes after a feeding, especially if they have the tendency to spit up afterward. But, that’s hard to do in the middle of the night, isn’t it? One thing I do know is that infant positioners in the crip are a no-no. The baby is probably safer sleeping in a rock and play than in a crib with a positioner. I think if you’re able to angle the mattress someway where the baby is still alone in the crib then that would be fine. Often times pediatricians will weigh the risks versus the benefits in cases like this, so it’s best to get their opinion. Hope this helps! Thanks again!


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