Putting your baby to sleep with a pacifier may also help prevent SIDS, though researchers aren't sure why. There are a few tips to follow when using a pacifier:
- If you're breastfeeding, wait until your baby is breastfeeding regularly (at least 1 month old) before starting to use a pacifier. Introducing a pacifier too soon can lead to nipple confusion and cause your baby to prefer the pacifier's nipple over your own.
- Don't force your baby to take the pacifier if he doesn't want it.
- Put the pacifier in your baby's mouth when you put him down to sleep, but don't put it back in his mouth after he falls asleep.
- Keep the pacifier clean, and buy a new one if the nipple is damaged.
- Don't coat the pacifier with honey, alcohol, or any other substance.
Keep Your Baby From Overheating
Because overheating may raise a baby's risk of SIDS, dress your infant in light, comfortable clothes for sleeping, and keep the room temperature at a level that's comfortable for an adult.
If you're worried about your baby staying warm, dress him in a "onesie," pajamas that cover arms, legs, hands, and feet, or place him in a "sleep sack" (a wearable blanket). However, don't use a regular blanket -- your baby can get tangled in it or pull the blanket over his face.
Steer Clear of Products That Claim to Reduce the Risk of SIDS
It's best to avoid any product that says it can lower your baby's risk of SIDS, because they haven't been proven safe or effective. Cardiac monitors and electronic respirators also haven't been proven to reduce SIDS risk, so avoid these, too.
Don't Give Honey to an Infant Under 1 Year Old
Because honey can lead to botulism in very young children, never give honey to a child under 1 year old. Botulism and the bacteria that cause it may be linked to SIDS.
Remember, your baby's health care provider is always available to answer any questions you have about SIDS, SIDS prevention, and keeping your baby warm, happy, and safe.