Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – Causes and preventive methods

The incidences of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) death in India is lower than in many other developed countries. In India, as per 2019 data, 32 infant deaths occur per 1000 live births. Increasing awareness of correct sleeping positions has reduced the number of SIDS death worldwide.

Parents of newborn babies try their best to keep their bundle of joy healthy and happy. But sometimes, the initial days of the newborn seem perfectly ok but then also the baby passes away for no reason. If this happens to an infant under the age of 1, it is referred to as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The sudden unexplained death of an infant under the age of 1 is SIDS.  

The incidence of this death in India is lower than in many other developed countries. In India, as per 2019 data, 32 infant deaths occur per 1000 live births. The good news is that the growing awareness of correct sleeping positions has reduced the number of SIDS deaths worldwide. But in many countries, SIDS death still remains the prime cause of death in babies between two and six months old.


  1. Certain genes can be a causative factor for health problems that can lead to SIDS.
  2. A problem in the brain or CNS that control breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and sleep cycle.
  3. Certain birth defects increase the risk of SIDS
  • Brain defects
  • Respiratory infection 
  • Undernutrition in the first 6 months of age

Higher risk category

  • Babies who sleep on their stomachs.
  • SIDS is most common in the first 4 months since birth but can happen anytime till the age of 1.
  • Babies who become overheated during sleep.
  • It is more common in babies who are born prematurely. 
  • If a sibling or cousin passed away, it increases the risk.
  • These are more common in lower-income countries like Africans as they don’t have adequate health and medical system.
  • If the mother of a newborn baby is younger than 20 years or doesn’t get good prenatal care or smokes or drinks alcohol, this increases the likeliness.

Tips to prevent SIDS

There are a few precautions that need to be taken to keep your little one safe

  • Take the best care of yourself during pregnancy – Go for regular checkups, eat healthy food, and practice safe exercise to keep weight under check. Normally women gain 10-12 kgs extra weight in full pregnancy. If it’s less than or more than this, consult a doctor immediately. Avoid all kinds of risky behaviors.
  • Stop smoking and drinking – Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol at the time of your pregnancy period. It has harsh and harmful effects on the growing fetuses inside the womb. 
  • Breastfeeding – Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the baby till 6 months. Only after 6 months, babies can eat anything other than mom’s milk. Vaccinate your baby timely. Never miss it. Follow the appropriate precaution that can help safeguard your baby. 
  • Put baby on their back to sleep – Once they start rolling, it's good to make them sleep on their back.

(Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice.  Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other health professionals for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.)

Tags : #Health #SIDS #parenting #Newmom #newborn #Newparents #Newbornbabies #Prematurebabies #Babydisorders #Medicircle #SmitaKumar

About the Author

Renu Gupta

With a background in Pharmacy which is the clinical health science that links medical science with chemistry, I had the desire to mix creativity to these fields. Medicircle provides me an avenue to apply my training in science and interest in creativity together.

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