Most deaths happen during the first 3 months of a baby's life. Infants born prematurely or with a low birth weight are at greater risk, and SIDS is also more common in baby boys.
The peak incidence of SIDS occurs between 1 – 4 months of age; 90% of cases occur before 6 months of age. Babies continue to be at risk for SIDS up to 12 months.
The exact cause of SIDS is unknown, but it's thought to be down to a combination of factors. Experts believe SIDS occurs at a particular stage in a baby's development and that it affects babies vulnerable to certain environmental stresses.
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.
SIDS is less common after 8 months of age, but parents and caregivers should continue to follow safe sleep practices to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death until baby's first birthday. More than 90% of all SIDS deaths occur before 6 months of age.
White noise reduces the risk of SIDS.
A relatively famous study (famous if you read a lot about baby sleep, so honestly you should be a little proud if you haven't heard of it) showed that babies had a significant reduction in the risk of SIDS if they had a fan in their room.
As indicated above, prone swaddled infants are at greatly increased risk for SIDS 8.
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.
It may be because babies don't sleep as deeply when they have a pacifier, which helps wake them up if they're having trouble breathing. A pacifier also keeps the tongue forward in the mouth, so it can't block the airway.
SIDS and SUDI are rare and the risk of your baby dying from it is very low. The rate of SIDS deaths has declined in Australia due to safe sleeping campaigns. In 2017, 6 babies in every 100,000 died of SIDS. Most deaths happen during the first 3 months of a baby's life.
Oftentimes, babies who succumb to SIDS have had a “minor infection” in the days before death. Infants' immune systems are immature, and breast milk helps to provide necessary antibodies to fight infections such as RSV, which can contribute to inflammation and lead to SIDS. Breastfeeding promotes safer sleep.
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.
The potential factors that contribute to the occurrence of SIDS include inadequate prenatal care, low birth weight (<2499gr), premature infants, intrauterine growth delay, short interval between pregnancies and maternal substance use (tobacco, alcohol, opiates).
Babies who share a bed with other children or adults. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy (three times more likely to have a baby die of SIDS) Exposure to passive smoke from smoking by mothers, fathers, and others in the household (doubles a baby's risk of SIDS)
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.
Use a firm, flat (not at an angle or inclined) 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, ideally until your baby is at least 6 months old.
SIDS has no symptoms or warning signs. Babies don't seem to suffer or struggle. They don't cry. Minor breathing or stomach problems might occur in the weeks before SIDS occurs.
Even though the thought can be deeply unsettling, experts agree that there aren't any warning signs for SIDS. And since SIDS isn't diagnosed until after an infant has died and the death has been investigated, you can't catch SIDS while it's happening and stop it, for instance, by performing CPR.
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.
Unfortunately, according the National Institutes Institute of Health and Human Development (NIH), because there's no way to prevent SIDS it can happen anywhere, including a bassinet.
Results The majority of SIDS deaths (83%) occurred during night-time sleep, although this was often after midnight and at least four SIDS deaths occurred during every hour of the day.
Place babies on their backs to sleep for naps and at night.
Babies who sleep on their backs are at lower risk for SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides. If baby usually sleeps on their back, putting them on the stomach or side to sleep for a nap or at night,increases the risk for SIDS by up to 45 times.
The most plausible explanation for this paradoxical result is that supine sleeping in the first 5 months of life reduces the absolute risk of SIDS in the second 6 months of life even though most babies are then sleeping prone.
Infants at the age when SIDS occurs quite frequently spend most of their sleep in a stage known as rapid eye movement or REM sleep. This sleep stage is characterized by the dysregulation of various mechanosensory airway and chemosensory autonomous reflexes that are critical for survival (18, 19).