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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is something no parent wants to think about but should. According to First Candle/SIDS Alliance, a national nonprofit organization based in Baltimore, SIDS is the No. 1 cause of death in infants between ages 1 month and 1 year. Known risk factors associated with SIDS include stomach sleeping; smoking in the home; overdressing the baby; and placing pillows, blankets, bumpers and other soft items in the crib.
It's natural to want to be near your baby 24/7. But experts have differing opinions when it comes to sharing your bed with an infant. "We don't know how to make bed sharing safe," says pediatrician Rachel Moon, M.D., a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on SIDS, which recommends not bed-sharing as a way to prevent SIDS.
According to First Candle, a national nonprofit organization, at least 50 percent of all sudden infant deaths could be prevented by placing babies to sleep in a safe environment.
You no doubt know that placing your baby to sleep on her back dramatically reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But did you know that putting her on her belly when she's awake is also important?
Working for better births Aimed at improving maternity care for all women, Childbirth Connection works to bridge the gap between the care new mothers and babies actually receive and the care they should receive. The organization helps pregnant women gain access to accurate information about their maternity options and teaches them how to navigate the health-care system and understand their rights as patients. childbirthconnection.org.
Rates of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) have plunged recently because more parents are placing babies on their backs to sleep, as recommended by government experts. But babies born to educated mothers have experienced the greatest reductions in risk--suggesting the public-health "back-to-sleep" campaign hasn't reached everyone. It's possible that some mothers haven't heard the advice, don't follow it or have other SIDS risk factors, such as smoking or using soft bedding, says study author Kate E. Pickett, Ph.D., of the University of York in England.
While pacifiers can soothe fussy babies, the plastic gadgets also have been linked with lower rates of breastfeeding and higher risk for ear infection. But now the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has weighed in, recommending pacifiers to help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the first year of life.
Q: I'm confused about pacifiers. If my baby uses one, will she become addicted to it?