A baby that dies in the first year of their life with no apparent reason is defined as having Sudden Death Syndrome. This is the most heart wrenching and scary thing that can happen to you as parents of a newborn. If your baby's recovery mechanisms are not fully developed and they are deprived of oxygen then they are not able to rouse themselves.
Sudden Death Syndrome deaths have decreased in the last few years. There is not any way to know or predict if a baby is at risk for SIDS. By being diligent and keeping your environment safe for your baby will help to prevent SIDS.
You should put your baby on their back to sleep for the first year of their life. You can use baby pillow wedges to prevent them from rolling over. When sleeping on their side be sure and prop their arm up to prevent them from rolling over onto their stomach.
Check your baby's bedding and make sure that it is not loose or too fluffy. Do not allow their face to be obstructed. Be sure you don't wrap them up too tightly to get overheated. It is not a good idea to smoke around your baby or to let anyone else smoke around your baby. You will want to get a firm mattress and a safety approved crib. Use a baby movement monitor that fits under your baby's mattress to monitor your baby's breathing. These monitors are very good to use for premature babies. This monitor will sound an alarm alerting you to any possible danger if your baby stops breathing.
There are some indications when you would want to use a baby movement monitor. If your baby has had life threatening issues and have turned blue or needed to be resuscitated. Another reason to use a monitor would be if they had an older sibling who died of SIDS. And of course another reason would be if they were premature.
You may want to consider using a baby movement monitor especially if any of the above reasons have occurred. This is an additional method to use to monitor their breathing while they are asleep. To insure that their lungs are fully developed keep all their doctor appointments and make sure they have all their immunizations. Creating a safe environment for your baby is the best way you can keep them safe.