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The incidence of SIDS worldwide has been reduced through awareness of the risk factors and by parents following recommendations to reduce the chance. Along with putting your infant to sleep on his or her back, you should follow these researched and proven practices to reduce the chance of SIDS.

Use a firm mattress without toys or blankets nearby

Put your baby on a firm mattress without blankets, toys, pillows, comforters or other materials that can cause an airway obstruction nearby. Do not use a pillow, couch, soft chair, water bed or other soft material as a mattress for your baby. Keep all toys away to reduce the chance or re breathing.

Don’t smoke when pregnant

Studies have shown that women who smoked while they were pregnant increase the risk of SIDS for their infants by up to three times, and secondhand smoke can increase an infant’s risk of SIDS by two times. It is thought that cigarette smoke can affect the brain and nervous system of the developing child and increase various types of SIDS risks.

Get regular prenatal and pediatric care

Be sure that you get regular prenatal checkups as recommended by a normal prenatal care schedule, and get early prenatal care as well. Studies have shown that women who neglect prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight infant with a five times higher risk of death. Prenatal care is very important so that physicians can spot problems early on and prevent other problems with treatments as needed. Mothers may also need to be educated on unique circumstances with their particular infant. After birth you should be sure that your baby has regular checkups.

Breastfeed if you can

If you can breastfeed your baby there are many benefits, but a major benefit is the reduced risk of SIDS. It is not entirely clear how or why breastfeeding reduces the chance of SIDS, but it is thought to be related to how breast milk may be better for the immune system of infants and protect them from infections that can lead to SIDS.

Do not allow your baby to sleep in the same bed

There is a higher risk of SIDS for parents that co-sleep with their babies. You can keep your baby in your room in their crib and you can bring her into your bed for nursing or soothing but always return your baby to the crib when it’s time for bed.

Use a pacifier to put your baby to sleep

Babies should be put to sleep with a pacifier for their first year, and there have been studies that show a reduced risk of SIDS for babies that use pacifiers. Again the reason is not clear, and you should not force your baby to use a pacifier if she rejects it.