SUDI stands for sudden unexpected death in infancy. Each year about sixty babies die a SUDI death in New Zealand. Most happen in the first six months of life and when a baby sleeps. SUDI is the term now used to describe all sudden unexpected deaths of babies. It describes:
The first six months of life are critical for all babies as they adjust to life outside the womb. Placing babies face-up (on the back) to sleep is essential to their survival through this critical stage.
Babies have an in-built monitor or ‘arousal response’ to protect themselves against life-threatening events during sleep. This response fails for SUDI babies. They do not wake up. Arousal is vulnerable in the first six months.
A health arousal protects against SUDI. It can be weakened by the harmful effects of smoking in pregnancy, as well by being premature, sleeping on the tummy, being formula fed and being unwell.
Yes! SUDI deaths are preventable if babies are protected from known risks. Death rates have fallen dramatically in the past twenty years because parents have acted on safety advice, especially advice to sleep babies on their backs. While some babies continue to die in unsafe positions and situations, smoking, especially in pregnancy is the main factor in SUDI deaths now.
Babies need a package of care to protect them from SUDI. Every baby needs this care every time and in every place they sleep for their first six months.
Sleep Safe Formula:
Safe sleep = face-up + face clear + smokefree
A fourth principle “in own baby bed” is essential extra protection for:
SUDI can happen to any baby. It happens more to babies: