Incidents of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, can be reduced by placing babies on their back to sleep and using a firm crib mattress, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also recommends avoiding co-sleeping and keeping soft items like pillows out of the crib.
KidsHealth, a Nemours Foundation website, also notes that overheating and tobacco smoke exposure might lead to SIDS. It further notes that premature or low-birth-weight babies, as well as those who were exposed prenatally to drugs, alcohol or smoking, are at an increased risk of SIDS.
Most SIDS deaths occur in children ages 2 months to 4 months old. It is more prevalent in cold weather, and more boys than girls are affected by the syndrome.