Baby Basics Health and Safety

10 Things You Need To Know About SIDS

June 29, 2016
10 Things You Need to Know about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Nobody wants to talk about SIDS. It’s too scary, gloomy, negative, anxiety-inducing, and sleep-depriving, right?  I know how you feel.  Hang in there and keep reading…this information could save your baby’s life!

Knowledge is the First Step in Prevention.

Still with me? You brave people! We MUST talk about this, because it is scary and anxiety-inducing, and boy could we use more sleep!  I always say, “knowledge is the first step in prevention.” (Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever said that before, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? I think I’ll use it more in the future. Do you like it?)

There is so much to learn and understand about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death–SUID.)  More in-depth articles are coming soon.  But just to get you started, here’s…

10 things about SIDS you need to know NOW:

  1. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is still the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 12 months of age.
  2. Back to Sleep is still the #1 recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics and NIH.
  3. Babies using pacifiers while sleeping may be at a lower risk of SIDS.
  4. Heart rate and breathing monitors do NOT decrease the risk SIDS.
  5. The risk is lower when the baby sleeps in the parent’s room, but they are HIGHER when co-sleeping in the parents’ bed.
  6. Rates are increased in households with smokers, even when they don’t smoke inside. 
  7. Rates are significantly higher in African-American babies. (Because 50% of them are still sleeping on their stomachs vs 25% of general population.)
  8. The risk is lower in higher income households, breastfed and immunized babies.
  9. The “Back to Sleep” campaign is now called  “Safe to Sleep” to educate families about preventing other sleep-related infant deaths that are not classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  10. ***Tummy Time when they are awake is crucial and starts on day one!***   (Read this ASAP: The Importance of Tummy Time)

This is such a great visual to drive home the importance of “Back to Sleep.” Basically,  the decrease of SIDS is directly correlated to the increase in babies sleeping on their backs.

SIDS rates since 1998 from

Infant mortality rates during “Back to Sleep” campaign    Note:  SIDS rates have remained steady since 2010, likely due to the fact that the percentage of babies sleeping on their backs is relatively unchanged.


10 Things You Need to Know about SIDS


Put your precious babies to sleep on their backs, please!

Don’t listen to anyone who says “well, when I was a baby, I slept on my stomach and I’m fine.” Well…that’s great that they survived, and their brother and mother and next door neighbor, but

The babies that died of SIDS are dead, so they can’t give you their advice.

There are very few exceptions to the recommendations for preventing SIDS and SUID. Only YOUR baby’s DOCTOR has the knowledge and expertise to advise a parent any differently.

Now, go hold your babies tight and don’t let them go. I know too many parents who can’t because of SIDS.

Would you like to learn more?




I am not a medical doctor. I have a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Read my disclaimer here.

SIDS: 10 Things you Need to Know about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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