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Sids, cot death! How it happens, how to intervene, how to prevent it

SIDS or cot death is the leading cause of infant death in the first six months of life. For you, an attentive mother, here are the recommendations to prevent white deaths and ensure safe sleep for your precious baby. At the end of this article, you will have learned how to make your newborn sleep and take action on the main causes of cot death such as passive smoking, inadequate temperature, incorrect sleeping position of the newborn and bumpers.

What is SIDS or cot death?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrom or white infant death syndrome, is known as SIDS and represents one of the leading causes of death in children under one year of life. Sudden death of the child occurs when there is no definite cause that caused the unexpected death of the baby and there are no intrinsic causes to motivate the passing of the infant and for this reason it is also called white death of children. According to statistics, cot death mainly affects infants between the first and fourth month of age and most deaths occur before the sixth month of the newborn although it can affect all children up to 1 year of life. Again according to statistical data there is a higher incidence of death from SIDS in the winter period (probably due to the blankets) and the risk decreases significantly after the 6 month of life.

sids cot death
sids cot death

Causes of cot death syndrome

In the past, cot death syndrome was thought to affect healthy babies randomly. Today, both with the studies carried out on infants who died from unexpected death, and through the testimonies of the parents, it is hypothesized that the sids syndrome affects newborns with one or more congenital defects that predispose them to sids risk without these risk factors being manifest. Some infants have been found to have insufficiently developed an area of ​​the brain that is alerted to dangerous respiratory conditions, not protecting the baby from the risk of death. Also according to the studies it has been seen that sids is favored by a heart malformation caused by a gene involved in respiration and heart rhythm. These are only hypotheses that must find absolute certainty. What is known for certain is that SIDS is not caused by:

  • He retched

  • suffocation

  • regurgitation

  • diseases.

According to statistics, cot death syndrome occurs most:

  • in premature babies

  • in underweight infants

  • in infants born to mothers who did not have antenatal care

  • in the children of pregnant smokers

Statistics and testimonials of infant sids

The intrinsic causes of cot deaths are difficult to delineate because today there is no homogeneous detection system throughout the Italian territory and the data are uncertain and imprecise. SIDS is estimated to affect 0.5% of all births in the order of 250 cases each year. Although numerous studies have been carried out, the cause of white deaths in children is still unknown. The Ministry of Health has suggested advice to new parents that significantly reduce the risk of infant death in a cot, reiterating that SIDS prevention is an absolute priority in public health.

SIDS prevention, guidelines.

There are numerous risk factors involved in white infant death, the good news is that these risks can be avoided by following good practices.

Over the years it has been shown that with simple precautions it is even possible to halve the risk of infant death.

One of the causes of cot death is the infant's sleeping position

It is attested that the risk of white death is reduced by 10 times if the newborn sleeps on his stomach, so much so that this position for the baby's sleep is defined by associations of pediatricians and organizations as the best prevention for cot death. The position on the stomach is absolutely to be avoided and also the position on the side is not prudent, because the risk of unpredictable death increases by three times. The recommended position for the baby to sleep is on the back, with the face and belly turned upwards. Put the baby to sleep on his back and make sure that all the people who care for him such as grandparents, babysitters and family members are properly educated in this regard.

Avoid soft surfaces for the baby to sleep on

For the cot or crib, use a hard and firm mattress.

The mattress must be the exact size of the crib / cot and not excessively soft. Make sure you choose the right and safe cradle to rest your baby in and among the crib models, buy only the compliant and certified ones.

Always avoid letting the child sleep on sofas (also due to the danger of falls), padded cushions and quilts, taking care to remove all soft objects such as plush toys and bumpers from the proximity of the child's bed as well as for the danger of suffocation also for avoid the danger of ingesting foreign bodies.

Pillows are a major cause of sids.

If the child falls asleep in the car seat, stroller, swing chair, bouncer or sling, when you can move him to sleep on a hard surface or rather in his cradle.

The crib avoids the sids

Putting the baby in a crib is one of the major recommendations for preventing baby death. Bed sharing with parents, bed sharing, is not the safest solution for letting the baby sleep because it runs a higher risk of death from sids.

Consider placing a cot that hooks onto the double bed, so that the baby has a safe space dedicated to him.

If you really can't help but put the baby to sleep in the bed, make sure that the baby is not submerged by the blankets of the double bed and that the parents' pillow does not represent a choking hazard.

If there are other children sleeping in their parents' bed, put the baby in the crib, it is the safest choice.

If the crib is very large, use only the lower part of the available surface so that the baby touches the end of the mattress and cannot slip under the covers.

Pay attention to the pillow

In the first four months of life, no pillow should be placed in the crib. Then buy a breathable and not large pillow to prevent the baby from putting his head between the pillow and the mattress, suffocating Also pay attention to the bumpers and cushions placed in the edge of the crib, if the baby sinks his face into them they could block his nose and mouth, suffocating the baby. No toys or stuffed animals in the crib Although some puppets are very cute on the sides of the crib, always make sure to take them out when the baby sleeps. Remove any objects potentially dangerous for the risk of cot death such as pillows, rattles, blankets, or soft toys that could obstruct your breathing during sleep.

Pay attention to the temperature

The sleeping environment must never be excessively hot.

Avoid direct heat sources to the baby such as stoves, convectors or other heating devices. The ambient temperature should be kept around 20 degrees, put a thermometer in the room where the baby sleeps to be sure of the temperature. Avoid covering the baby too much, no caps, extra clothes, sheets and blankets. The best and safest solution for a baby's sleep is the sleeping bag.

To assess whether the baby feels hot or cold, place your hand on his neck, if he is sweating it is better to lighten it. The baby's hands are not a good indicator of his or her body temperature. Covering the baby too much increases the risk of sudden death syndrome Make sure that the room where the baby sleeps has good air circulation, studies have shown that it reduces the risk of SIDS. The room temperature must never exceed 20 ° to prevent excessive heat from altering the mechanisms that regulate nighttime breathing.

Cigarette smoking prohibited

To prevent crib death, the environment must be smoke-free, including passive smoke. Area the rooms where there are fumes before putting the baby to rest. Cigarette smoke promotes inflammation of the respiratory tract, increasing the risk of suffocation for the newborn.

Pacifier and sids

The use of the pacifier during sleep has been shown to decrease the risk of sids and have a protective effect. When you put your baby to sleep, give him a pacifier, even if he doesn't use it during the day. To learn more: choosing the right pacifier

Continue to breastfeed

Research has shown that breastfed infants have a lower risk of SIDS.

Sleep in the same room with the baby

Studies have found that infants who sleep in the same room as their parents, in a crib that hooks onto the double bed, or in a normal crib run a lower risk of sids.

Infants who sleep with parents in a double bed are at increased risk of cot death from suffocation or crushing

Products that help prevent cot death

The New Babysense

Peaceful sleep with the The New Babysense device that monitors both the breathing and movements of the baby during sleep.

It is a large motion sensor to be placed under the baby's cot mattress to which a control unit is connected that constantly monitors breathing and movement. If the newborn suddenly stops breathing or does so in a pathological way, the alarm is activated immediately, which alerts the parents in order to intervene promptly. The product is certified and used in neonatology operating units

Angel care

Angel careis a digital device that detects the sounds and movements of the newborn through a wireless sensor. If the device detects no respiratory movement for more than 20 seconds, the alarm is triggered immediately. It has a range of 250 meters which means that even if the mother moves away from the room she can always keep the baby's breath under control. Really a great product


Sens-U is a revolutionary sleeping device capable of detecting the movement, tilting and body temperature of the newborn during bedtime. The baby sensor contacts the baby and constantly reports breathing. The revolution is that it warns the mother if the baby falls on his stomach, if the blanket is moved or if the baby's temperature rises, exposing the little one to a greater risk of Sisd. The device can be used anywhere because you just need to bring the sensor and connect it to your smartphone to have the security of a risk-free sleep wherever you are.

For further information: all baby monitors for bedtime

Dear mom I hope this guide has been of help to you, if you have any doubts or questions to ask me, please write it in the comments below, I will be happy to answer you. Don't forget to always trust your mom instincts. To be always informed subscribe to our news letter that you find below and follow us on Instagram, you will never be alone. If you want to buy the products for your baby and your health recommended by Mammamather, all you have to do is click on the button.



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