Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is when a healthy baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly while sleeping. It can happen anytime during your baby’s first year of life.
How to protect your baby
Here are some tips to keep your baby safe while she is sleeping:
- Always place your baby on her back to sleep. Babies who sleep on their back have a reduced risk of SIDS.
- Keep your home smoke-free. Do not let anyone smoke around your baby before or after birth. Exposure to smoke is one of the biggest risk factors for SIDS.
- Your baby should sleep alone in her crib, cradle or bassinet. Sharing the same sleep surface with your baby can increase her risk of SIDS and also lead to suffocation.
- Place your baby’s crib, cradle or bassinet next to your bed for the first six months. Room sharing or placing your baby to sleep within arm’s reach of where you sleep can reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Your baby’s crib should have a firm mattress and a tight-fitting sheet.
- Keep your baby’s crib empty. Anything extra in the crib, like blankets or toys, can increase the risk of injury and suffocation.
- Make sure your baby’s her face is not covered while they are sleeping. Instead of using a blanket, dress your baby in light sleeping clothing.
- Be aware of the temperature in your baby’s room. Overheating is a risk factor for SIDS. If the bedroom temperature is comfortable for you, it is also comfortable for your baby.
- Make sure your baby’s crib, cradle or bassinet meets Canadian safety regulations. Read Is Your Child Safe? for more information.
- Breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding helps protect your baby from SIDS.
- Share information about safe sleep with everyone who cares for your baby.
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