Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Madysen Thomas

What is SIDS?

Sudden infant death syndrome is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs.


  • Studies show that for infants who received any breast milk for any duration, the likelihood of SIDS was 60% lower.
  • Babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy have a 3 times greater risk of SIDS. Babies who breath secondhand smoke have a 2.5 times greater risk of SIDS.

Ways to prevent SIDS

  • Firm Bed, No Soft Toys or Bedding

    To prevent smothering or suffocation, always lay your baby down to sleep on either a firm mattress or surface in a crib or bassinet. All your baby’s crib needs is the fitted sheet -- don't put blankets, quilts, pillows, sheepskin, stuffed toys, or crib bumpers in your baby's crib.

  • Breastfeed as Long as You Can

    Breastfeeding your baby can lower the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%, though experts aren't sure why. Some think breast milk may protect babies from infections that raise their SIDS risk. Do not drink alcohol if you breastfeed, because that raises your baby’s risk of SIDS.

  • Keep Your Baby From Overheating

    Because overheating may raise a baby's risk of SIDS, dress your infant in light, comfortable clothes for sleeping, and keep the room temperature at a level that's comfortable for an adult.