Parents: How Much Do You Know About SIDS?
Review the 9 questions below to find out how much you really know about this silent killer, and if you need to make changes to your baby’s sleep routine.
Q1. True or false: Doctors know what causes SIDS.
A1. False. Although doctors have recognized SIDS for many years, they still aren’t sure what exactly causes it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning SIDS is confirmed when all other factors, like suffocation or foul play, have been ruled out.
Q2. What’s the difference between SIDS and SUID?
A2. SUID stands for Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. This includes all types of unexpected infant deaths, like drowning, suffocation and even homicides.
SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It’s one type of death that falls into the SUID category.
Q3. True or false: There is nothing we can do to prevent SIDS.
A3. True. Experts with the CDC confirm that there is no proven way to prevent SIDS, but there are some circumstances more commonly associated with SIDS deaths. Read on to find out what they are.
Q4. What sleeping position is considered safest for babies?
A4. On their backs. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), babies put to sleep on their backs have repeatedly shown a lower incidence of SIDS than those placed to sleep on their stomach or sides.
Q5. True or false: My baby should sleep with me until she’s big enough to sleep in her own crib.
A5. False. Your baby’s crib may be next to your bed, but she should always sleep alone on a firm, flat surface free of loose bedding and other objects.
Q6. What type of blanket should your newborn baby sleep with?
A6. None. Blankets and sheets can find their way over a baby’s head, posing a suffocation risk. They also go against the NICHD’s safe sleep recommendations, which advise that babies should sleep on a firm mattress with only a fitted sheet and nothing else.
Q7. True or false: If my baby is otherwise healthy, I don’t need to worry about SIDS.
A7. False. One of the reasons SIDS is so troubling is that it strikes babies who are otherwise considered healthy. Talk with your doctor about other health factors that may increase your baby’s risk.
Q8. Can a baby monitor help lower my baby’s risk of SIDS?
A8. No. A baby monitor is a useful tool in alerting parents to dangerous conditions, like when your baby has rolled over onto her stomach.
With a reliable monitor, you’ll know when you need to turn the baby back over to her back. However, a baby monitor will not help lower your child’s risk of SIDS.
Q9. At what age is SIDS no longer considered a risk?
A9. One year. Though SIDS most frequently affects babies between a few weeks and four months old, doctors advise parents follow the safe sleep recommendations until a baby has reached her first birthday.
How did you do? Are you knowledgeable about SIDS, or could you use more information? Browse our Safe Sleep section for more resources on the topic, or check out the NICHD’s Safe to Sleep page for additional materials.
Connect with other parents, ask questions and share advice by joining our free Facebook community, MonParents.