Although there is no way to prevent sudden infant death syndrome in all cases, the risk is lowered by placing a baby on his back to sleep, not exposing a baby to cigarette smoke, avoiding soft toys and bedding, using a firm mattress, and breastfeeding as long as possible, states WebMD. Additional recommendations include letting a baby sleep in the same room as his mother but not in the same bed and immunizing a baby according to CDC guidelines.
A baby's risk of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS is increased if the baby sleeps on his side or stomach, explains WebMD. A baby asleep on his stomach can be smothered by the mattress. A baby who is accustomed to sleeping on his back and is placed on his stomach to sleep has a much higher risk of SIDS, making it important for all caregivers to be informed about safe sleeping. Also, only put a fitted sheet in a baby's crib, avoiding all blankets, quilts, pillows and stuffed animals.
Additionally, among women who smoke while pregnant, infants die of SIDS at a rate three times higher than nonsmokers, according to WebMD. However, smoking around an infant is also dangerous and increases the risk of SIDS.