There's no treatment for SIDS. But your baby's pediatrician or other health care professional can talk with you about any risks your baby may have. And there are ways to help your baby sleep safely.

For the first year, always place your baby to sleep on the back. Use a firm, flat mattress and avoid fluffy pads and blankets. Remove all toys and stuffed animals from the crib. Try using a pacifier. Don't cover your baby's head, and make sure your baby doesn't get too hot. Your baby can sleep in your room, but not in your bed. Breastfeeding for at least six months to a year lowers the risk of SIDS. Vaccine shots to protect your baby from diseases also may help prevent SIDS.

Coping and support

After losing a baby to SIDS, getting emotional support is critical. You might be feeling guilty as you grieve the loss of your baby. You're also likely to be dealing with a police investigation into the cause of death as required by law. You might find it comforting to talk to other parents whose lives have been affected by SIDS.

Ask your doctor or other member of your care team to suggest a support group in your area or online. Talking to a trusted friend, mental health professional or clergy member also can help.

Communicate your feelings

If you can, let friends and family know how you're feeling. People want to help, but they might not know how to approach you.

Losing a child can put a terrible strain on a relationship. Be as open as possible with your spouse or partner. Counseling helps some couples understand and express their feelings.

Allow time for healing

Finally, give yourself time to grieve. It's understandable to cry unexpectedly and to find holidays and milestones difficult. You'll also feel tired and drained at times.

You're dealing with a devastating loss. Healing can take time.

July 19, 2023
  1. About SIDS and safe infant sleep. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Accessed March 11, 2023.
  2. Corwin MJ. Sudden infant death syndrome: Risk factors and risk reduction strategies. Accessed March 5, 2023.
  3. Kliegman RM, et al., eds. Sudden infant death syndrome. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Elsevier; 2020. Accessed March 11, 2023.
  4. Moon RY, et al. Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the Committee on Fetus and Newborn. Sleep-related infant deaths: Updated 2022 recommendations for reducing infant deaths in the sleep environment. Pediatrics. 2022; doi:10.1542/peds.2022-057990.
  5. AskMayoExpert. Breastfeeding. Mayo Clinic; 2022.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)