Also known as crib death, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year — and usually less than 3 months old. You can do several things to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS and put your mind at ease, the most important of which is to put your baby to sleep on his back (remember, "back to sleep").
Other tips to follow include:
- Maintain an air temperature in your baby's room that feels comfortable to you.
- Keep your baby's head uncovered while he's sleeping; if his head is hot and sweaty, he's too warm.
- Use a firm baby mattress that fits the crib or bassinet without gaps.
- Use bedding that fits tightly around the mattress and don't use bumper pads.
- Keep large toys and stuffed animals out of the crib or bassinet.
- Forbid smoking around your baby or in his room.
If you're breastfeeding and don't smoke, your baby is already in the lower-risk group!