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Mothering › Health Articles › Natural Parenting Toolbox: Steps to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Steps to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

While no one knows for sure what causes SIDS, you can take the following steps to reduce the risks:


  • Get adequate prenatal care. Take good care of yourself and avoid taking unnecessary drugs during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

  • Do not smoke near your baby. Smoking during or after birth can double the risk of SIDS.

  • Breastfeed your baby. Studies in the United States and New Zealand have shown that bottle-fed babies have been shown to be at greater risk for SIDS.

  • Put your baby to sleep only on her back, not her stomach or her side. Do put her on her tummy for playtime, however.

  • Remove any loose bedding from where the baby sleeps. Do not use a pillow or a thick comforter. Do not allow the baby to become overheated.

  • Use nontoxic mattresses and bedding for the baby (see Chapter 12 and the Resource list for more information).

  • Sleep with your baby. According to sleep expert Dr. James McKenna, infants who sleep with their parents may be at lower risk for SIDS.

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Mothering › Health Articles › Natural Parenting Toolbox: Steps to Reduce the Risk of SIDS