Sadly, preventing SIDS completely is not
There is no cure or
vaccine to prevent crib death. But you can
as much as possible by following
a few simple rules
especially during the first 12 months. Follow the
guidelines as much
for naps as for night time sleep.
4 simple gestures to protect your baby
sleeps on her back
Baby never gets too hot
sleeps in a safe crib, under close supervision
These are the simplest and most effective ways to protect your child.
They are the best chance we have for preventing SIDS.
See below for
details and further
How do we know these guidelines help? In the late 80s-early 90s, many
campaigns to recommend these precautions, and the
sleeping on the back position in particular.
SIDS rates reduced dramatically in the following years so the
guidelines remain recommended worldwide.
Guidelines to help prevent SIDS and tips to make them work
Ideally during the first months, keep your baby in the room with you.
by itself is proven to improve protection
Many parents find that their movement easily wakes up their little one
about 4 to 6 months.
When that happens, and you feel confident about
your baby's development, and there are none of the
SIDS risk factors
you can have her sleep in another room.
check frequently on her and ensure you can monitor as well as if you were in the same room.
The 2016 updated recommendations for safe infant sleeping environment
by the AAP advise that a baby sleeps in her parent's room ideally for
the full first year, and at least for the first 6 months.
... or co-sleeps safely
still disadvised officially
by many institutions, although
given studies state
that in certain circumstances,
can offer protection from
According to latest research,
co-sleeping does not increase the risk
parent smokes, drinks alcohol, takes medication or is extremely tired,
co-sleeping is not safe
and is an increased risk factor.
Also if your baby is
premature or light-weight you'd rather avoid bed sharing.
(a cot attached to your bedside) can be a good alternative.
occurred when babies were sleeping on the couch or sofa with their
5. Using a dummy
pacifier or dummy
has been shown to reduce SIDS risk.
Since dummy-use may interfere with breastfeeding (another protector
from SIDS) it is best to wait until breastfeeding is well established
before offering a dummy to your baby.
Breastfeeding your baby can offer increased protection from crib death.
7. Don't force sleep
make your small child sleep longer or better by over-feeding or with
go into too deep sleep and be at risk of cot death.
Don't allow these pages to make you anxious.
Just keep the guidelines for preventing SIDS in mind, consult a medical professional to assess your baby, be extra
careful when your
baby is at a
, and then have confidence in your instincts.
Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 15+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.
Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books. Also, Baby Sleep Advice was awarded "Most Trusted Infant's Sleep Solutions Company 2023" in the Benelux Enterprise Awards 2023.
Heidi continually conducts personal research and participates in continued education and in that way stays up to date with current scientific and pyschosocial infant care.
She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.
cosleeping: the appropriate context for the study of infant sleep and
implications for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) research
Sarah Mosko, James Mckenna, Lynn Hunt 2004