About 1,360 babies died of SIDS in 2017, the last year for which such statistics are available. Most SIDS deaths happen in babies between 1 month and 4 months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths happen before a baby reaches 6 months of age. However, SIDS deaths can happen anytime during a baby's first year.
SIDS has no symptoms or warning signs. Babies who die of SIDS seem healthy before being put to bed. They show no signs of struggle and are often found in the same position as when they were placed in the bed.
SIDS usually occurs when a baby is asleep, although it can occasionally happen while they're awake. Parents can reduce the risk of SIDS by not smoking while pregnant or after the baby is born, and always placing the baby on their back when they sleep. Find out how to stop smoking.
To reduce the risk of SIDS: place your baby on their back to sleep, in a cot in the same room as you, for the first 6 months. keep your baby's head uncovered – their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders.
Overheating may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies one month to one year of age. Many experts recommend that the temperature in the room where a baby's sleeps be kept between 68–72°F (20–22.2°C).
SIDS can occur anytime during a baby's first year of life (it's extremely rare after 1 year of age). Although the causes of SIDS are still largely unknown, doctors do know that the risk of SIDS appears to peak between 2 and 4 months of age and decreases after 6 months.
Other things that SIDS is not: SIDS is not the same as suffocation and is not caused by suffocation. SIDS is not caused by vaccines, immunizations, or shots. SIDS is not contagious.
Goodstein said, when babies sleep in the same room as their parents, the background sounds or stirrings prevent very deep sleep and that helps keeps the babies safe. Room sharing also makes breast-feeding easier, which is protective against SIDS.
SIDS is most common at 2-4 months of age when the cardiorespiratory system of all infants is in rapid transition and therefore unstable. So, all infants in this age range are at risk for dysfunction of neurological control of breathing.
Babies who are breastfed or are fed expressed breastmilk are at lower risk for SIDS compared with babies who were never fed breastmilk. According to research, the longer you exclusively breastfeed your baby (meaning not supplementing with formula or solid food), the lower his or her risk of SIDS.
Sucking on a pacifier requires forward positioning of the tongue, thus decreasing this risk of oropharyngeal obstruction. The influence of pacifier use on sleep position may also contribute to its apparent protective effect against SIDS.
A triple risk model for the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as described by Filiano and Kinney involves the intersection of three risks: (1) a vulnerable infant, (2) a critical developmental period in homeostatic control, and (3) an exogenous stressor(s).
Infants are sensitive to extremes in temperature and cannot regulate their body temperatures well. Studies have shown that multiple layers or heavy clothing, heavy blankets, and warm room temperatures increase SIDS risk.
The number of infants who die of SIDS rises during the winter, notes an NICHD news release. "During these colder months, parents often place extra blankets or clothes on infants, hoping to provide them with more warmth. In fact, the extra material may actually increase infants' risk for SIDS," states the release.
White noise reduces the risk of SIDS.
We DO know that white noise reduces active sleep (which is the sleep state where SIDS is most likely to occur).
Swaddling Reduces SIDS and Suffocation Risk
This extremely low SIDS rate suggests that wrapping may actually help prevent SIDS and suffocation. Australian doctors also found that swaddled babies (sleeping on the back) were 1/3 less likely to die from SIDS, and a New Zealand study found a similar benefit.
However, it can happen wherever your baby is sleeping, such as when in a pushchair or even in your arms. It can also happen sometimes when your baby isn't sleeping – some babies have died in the middle of a feed.
Deaths could occur more commonly at night in older infants because sleep is increasingly concentrated into the night. Prone sleep position could work through a thermal mechanism, so that the variables related to bedding and environmental temperature would be more important at night.
"Those signs or symptoms included [infants] being drowsy most of the time when awake, infants wheezing, and infants taking less than half the normal amount of fluids in the last 24 hours before their deaths."
Findings consistent with SIDS include the following: Serosanguineous watery, frothy, or mucoid discharge from mouth or nose. Reddish-blue mottling from postmortem lividity on the face and dependent portions of the body. Marks on pressure points of the body.