Infant death syndrome, (SIDS) explained

Infant death syndrome (SIDS) explained!


Infant death syndrome(SIDS) explained

Hey guys! Today let’s see about a very unique condition called “Infant Death Syndrome“. Just like how horrific it sounds so are certain facts about it. So, come along and dive in to know all about this syndrome.


Sudden infant death syndrome is also known as SIDS is an anonymous death, that generally occurs while a baby less than a year old is asleep.  SIDS is occasionally called crib death cause the newborns die in their cribs.

The actual cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is not known. But, it is predicted to be in association with a defective portion of an infant’s brain that is in control of sleep arousal and breathing.

Research has discovered ways to protect babies from SIDS like placing babies on their back to sleep. It also proved a few factors that put infants life at extra risk.

Identified causes to Infant Death Syndrome

An association of certain sleep environmental and physical factors can make a baby highly prone to SIDS. And these factors differ from infant to infant.

Physical factors that lead to infant death syndrome

Physical factors in relation to SIDS are

  • Defects in the brain: Few infants are born with issues leading to SIDS. While in many little ones the brain portion that controls waking up from sleep and breathing is immature to function necessarily.
  • Respiratory infection. Among the infants, many who died of SIDS often had colds, which might have given in for breathing problems.
  • Lower birth weight: It occurs in babies who are part of multiple birth or premature birth. Their brain hasn’t matured completely so he or they show lowered control over automatic functions like heart rate and breathing.

Environmental factors that lead to Infant death syndrome during sleep

The sleeping position and items in the crib are associated with a baby’s physical problems and hike the risk of SIDS. Examples include:

  1. Infants that are placed on the side or on the stomach experience difficulty in breathing compared to infants placed on their backs.
  2. Sharing the same bed as the baby. The risk of Infant Death Syndrome is less when an infant sleeps in the room same as parents. But the risk of Infant death syndrome is hiked when the baby sleeps in the same bed with siblings, parents, or pets.
  3. Lying on a soft mattress, waterbed or fluffy comforter with face down can block an infant’s airway.
  4. Overheated room. While sleeping the environment shouldn’t be too warm as they increase the risk of SIDS.

Factors of risk

Any infant is prone to Infant death syndrome. However, researchers discovered several factors that may increase an infant’s risk.

  • Age- Infants between the second and fourth months of life are most vulnerable.
  • Sex – Boys are likely to die more compared to girls due to Infant death syndrome.
  • Family history-Infants whose cousins or siblings died of SIDS are at higher risk of infant death syndrome
  • Race- SIDS develops more in non-white infants for reasons that aren’t well known.
  • Premature birth- Either being born early or with lower birth weight puts the infant at high risk of SIDS.
  • Secondhand smoke-Babies who live with smokers have a higher risk of SIDS.

Maternal risk factors

The self-care of the mother during pregnancy also affects. The infant is at high risk of SIDS if the mother:

  • Has insufficient prenatal care
  • Intakes drugs or alcohol
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Age is under 20


There’s no guaranteed way to prevent SIDS, but you can help your baby sleep more safely by following these tips:

  • Make your baby sleep on their back. Make sure to place your baby on their back while sleeping and not on their stomach or side. Follow this for the first year of the infant. This need not be followed if the infant is awake and can roll over both sides by themselves.
  • Make sure never to overheat the baby To keep the baby warm use clothing that doesn’t require additional covers or use a sleep sack. And never cover the infant’s head.
  • Make sure not to use fluffy beddings. Avoid usage of stuffed animals, thick quilts,s, and fluffy mattresses for your baby. They can press against the nose and make breathing difficult.
  • Breast-feeding helps. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS if it is followed for six months.
  • Make sure to have your baby sleep in your room but not in your bed. Generally, it is not safe for babies to sleep on a normal bed like yours for the first year. Because they might become suffocated and trapped in between bed frame and mattress or headboard slats. The parent might also roll over and cause infant death.
  • Make sure to offer a pacifier without the strap. The use of pacifiers decreases the risk of infant death syndrome. Offer a pacifier after the baby is 3 to 4 weeks old. Don’t force one if they are not interested. If the pacifier pops out while sleeping doesn’t put it back.
  • Don’t depend on commercial baby monitors use of monitors is discouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics because of safety issues and ineffectiveness.
  • Immunization of baby helps. It is proven that routine immunizations help to prevent SIDS.
  • Don’t give honey to a baby under a year old. It can lead an infant to botulism if given to a child under a year old. Bacteria that caused botulism is associated with SIDS.

Treatment to infant death syndrome 

For sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS, there’s no available treatment. However, there are ways to aid the baby to sleep safely. In the first year never place the baby in any other position while sleeping than on their back. Stay away from fluffy pads and blankets instead use a firm mattress. Don’t place any toy or stuffed animals in the crib and try using a pacifier. Do not cover a baby’s head, and ensure that the baby isn’t too hot. The baby may sleep in your room however not in your bed. At least six months of breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS. Vaccines to protect the baby from diseases can prevent SIDS.

Suggestions for maternal recovery

Losing your child to SCIDS may make you feel guilt and grief along with the police investigation to know the cause of death. Proper emotional support is a must. Talking with parents who had similar experiences might be comforting.

You can ask your, doctor, to suggest a support group or you can join one online. Talking to a trusted friend, counselor or priest can also help.

Pour out your feelings

When you are ready to open up to your friends and family know how you are feeling. People want to help, but most of the time they might not know how to ask you.

Losing a child can put a severe strain on a relationship, so try be opening up with your spouse or partner. Counseling helps some couples understand and express their feelings properly.

Let time takes its pace to heal

Lastly, give yourself time to grieve. You might find yourself crying unexpectedly, even on holidays and other celebratory times are especially difficult, or if you’re tired and drained most of the time, it’s normal to see these happening. You’re facing a severe loss. Healing takes time!


Author Profile

Rini Esther
Rini Esther
Hey all! This is Rini Esther and is a medico. I'm here to share knowledge that might help you and your loved ones to have a healthy lifestyle. I'll try my best to give reliable, genuine, and understandable content. Excited to serve you in this unique way!