Back to Sleep: Safe Sleep for Your Baby - Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
What is SIDS?
SIDS stands for sudden infant death syndrome. This term describes the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than 1 year of age. Some people call SIDS "crib death" because many babies who die of SIDS are found in their cribs. But, cribs don't cause SIDS.
What should I know about SIDS?
Health care providers don't know exactly what causes SIDS, but they do know:
- Babies sleep safer on their backs. Babies who sleep on their stomachs are much more likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their backs.
- Sleep surface matters. Babies who sleep on or under soft bedding are more likely to die of SIDS.
- Every sleep time counts. Babies who usually sleep on their backs but who are then placed on their stomachs, like for a nap, are at very high risk for SIDS.
Fast Facts About SIDS
- SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age.
- Most SIDS deaths happen when babies are between 2 months and 4 months of age.
- African American babies are more than 2 times as likely to die of SIDS as white babies.
- American Indian/Alaskan Native babies are nearly 3 times as likely to die of SIDS as white babies.
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Updated November 10, 2020