Today, we’ll answer one of the most asked questions of parents: “When can I stop worrying about SIDS?”
The short answer: Babies are at their highest risk with SIDS between 2 to 3 months of age, and the risk significantly drops when they turn a year old.
The long answer? We’ve created a section below to give you a COMPLETE explanation.
Let’s get to it!
When Can Parents Stop Worrying About SIDS?
At some point in your sleepless night, we’re sure you’ve asked yourself this question.
First off, this will help you WORRY LESS: SIDS will not be present in all the years of your child.
There comes the point where you’ll no longer have to worry about your child being susceptible to SIDS risk. Once they’ve reached a certain age or a stage in their development process, you’ll have peace of mind.
At What Age Is an Infant Highly Susceptible to SIDS?
Babies between four to six months of age are HIGHLY susceptible to SIDS. During this period, you’ll need to closely watch them and develop good and safe sleep practices to help them.
However, the National Sleep Foundation also mentions that SIDS peaks when a baby is between 2 to 3 months of age.
When Does the Risk for SIDS Decrease?
To answer your question of when to stop worrying about SIDS, the chances of your baby suffering from SIDS will significantly drop AFTER your baby’s first birthday.
After your baby’s first birthday, you can rest easier.
You’ll know this once your baby develops the ability to support his/her head and has figured out how to communicate with you.
Below, we’ll give you more insight about SIDS, the risk factors that lead to SIDS, and all the tips we’ve learned on how to prevent it.
What is SIDS?
Whether you’re a first-time parent or not, you should know what Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is.
It’s one of the leading causes of death of infants under one year old, leaving parents in total and complete shock.
You never know when this will happen. One moment you’re just putting them to sleep, and the next thing you know, they’re not waking up.
One minor accident can lead to another, and the rest is history.
Unfortunately, no baby is safe from SIDS regardless of their age.
All babies are susceptible to SIDS, but data research shows that cases are higher in toddlers between four to six months of age.
With this information in mind, parents have to pay close attention during these crucial months, especially as their baby sleeps.
Babies Who Are At Risk for SIDS
Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to determine what can cause SIDS deaths. Nevertheless, many identified factors increase the risk for SIDS of a newborn baby.
Knowing what these risk factors are will help you understand what to avoid so you can identify the cause early on and prevent the worst from happening.
In cases of infants who sleep on their stomachs, they have a higher risk for SIDS. This is because while they sleep on their stomach, they may suffocate due to their sleep position.
Remember, your baby can’t support their neck just yet, so you’ll be responsible for making sure you put your baby to sleep in a safe position.
Also worth mentioning is that when newborns sleep face down, they’re inhaling back the air they’ve exhaled. And this air is carbon dioxide.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends putting a newborn baby to sleep on his/her back. This simple act helps in preventing SIDS and saves you from suffering such a tragic fate.
Soft and Safe Sleep Space
When we think of babies sleeping, we think of soft bedding and plush pillows. But did you know this is contrary to what babies need to sleep?
The sleep surface of your baby shouldn’t be too soft, such that it folds according to the curve of their body.
Just imagine what’ll happen when your baby rolls on its stomach and its head is face down on the bed.
Smoker Mothers and Exposure to Cigarette Smoke
Unfortunately, research shows that newborns who have mothers who smoke during their pregnancy are three times more susceptible to suffer from SIDS.
The same is true for newborns who also have cigarette smoke exposure at home.
SIDS is highly preventable. There are a lot of things parents can do to lessen the risk of SIDS and death. Let’s get to know more information about what these are.
1. Room Sharing
Believe it or not, sharing a room with your newborn does a great deal of help in reducing their risk of SIDS. It’s one of the best preventive measures you can try, and it’ll hardly cost you anything.
While your baby is still between four to six months, rooming with them is a good idea. This means putting their crib or bed in the same area you sleep.
If they lie on their stomach, you can help your baby lie on his/her back right away. However, room sharing is something that shouldn’t be confused with sleeping in the same bed.
2. No Stomach Sleep
One essential rule parents should never forget is to let babies sleep on their backs. The risk of SIDS decreases through this one simple act.
Moreover, it’s equally important to place items like bumper pads beside their back or body, making sure your baby doesn’t suddenly roll on its stomach.
Ensuring your baby lies on their back can save you the fear and worry that many parents face.
3. Flat Sleep Surface
Parents are always tempted to place soft plushies and stuffed toys inside their baby’s bed/cot. It looks cute and adorable and generally what you’d expect from a magazine page.
In reality, a baby’s cot isn’t anything like that. Instead, your baby’s cot should be flat and only have the essentials like bumper pads and clean bedding.
Your baby’s crib may look plain, but at least they have a safe environment to sleep in. You’ve eliminated all the things that could potentially suffocate your kid.
4. Use Baby Monitoring Devices
Thanks to the advent of technology, there are many baby monitoring devices and baby box options you can use. They prove to be very helpful, especially if you’re in a different room.
We recommend using a baby monitoring device that feeds live sounds and videos of what your baby is doing.
But remember, baby monitoring devices aren’t alternatives to being there for your kids.
It’s still better to have your baby in plain sight, even if it means transferring their crib to your home office or waking up at 2 AM to make sure they’re lying on their back.
5. Ask for Help
There’s no harm in asking for help. If you’re unsure what to do, especially if you’re a first-time parent, don’t hesitate to ask someone.
Whether it’s from your parents, friends, sleep experts, or pediatrician, and whether it’s about what issues to be prepared for or what baby medical supplies to have ready during emergencies, having an idea of these things and how to help your baby sleep better is always better than having none at all.
The best thing about asking for help from fellow parents is that they, too, have gone through a similar situation. They can tell you firsthand what to expect and how to deal with certain things. You won’t have to feel clueless anymore!
Plus, they’ll be more likely to give you insightful sleep recommendations for you and your baby.
No parent wants their child to suffer from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It’s such a sudden and tragic death that can happen to anyone’s baby.
Luckily SIDS is highly preventable, and several factors can help reduce the risk of SIDS in babies, like making sure they lie on their back.
We hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to share it to help spread the campaign against sudden infant deaths!
FINAL TIP: If you’re also worried about unusual baby spit-ups, you should check out our article on babies spitting up yellow and go over the causes and possible solutions.
July 22, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links