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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are terms used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby less than 1 year old in which the cause was not obvious before investigation. These deaths often happen during sleep or in the baby’s sleep area. It doesn't happen often. This is a rare occurrence. Infant deaths are tragic for all involved.

Research shows parents and caregivers can help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths by doing the following:
  • Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times—naps and at night.
  • Use a firm, flat sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Keep your baby’s sleep area (for example, a crib or bassinet) in the same room where you sleep until your baby is at least 6 months old, or ideally, until your baby is one year old.
  • Keep soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • Do not cover your baby’s head or allow your baby to get too hot. Signs your baby may be getting too hot include sweating or his or her chest feels hot.
Additional recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to reduce the risk of SIDS include:
  • Do not smoke/vape during pregnancy, and do not smoke/vape or allow smoking or vaping around your baby.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Visit your baby’s health care provider for regular checkups. Your baby will receive important shots to prevent disease.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. If you are breastfeeding your baby, you may want to wait to use a pacifier until breastfeeding is well-established.
For information on:
Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): Click here
Safe Sleep: Click here
Download the Safe Sleep pdf: Click here

(Updated 4/23/2019)