LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — October is National Safe Sleep Awareness month.  

In today’s 8 On Your Side, we discuss the only way to put your baby to sleep, and new developments with a sleep device.

About 3,500 healthy babies die in their sleep each year due to SIDS — Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Most victims are under the age of 1.

Dr. Harvey Karp said about 90% of these deaths are preventable by following a few simple safety steps.

Don’t smoke. Smoking cigarettes during pregnancy or after birth can increase the chance of SIDS for your baby because smoking deprives the infant of oxygen. The American Academy of Pediatrics says you should place your baby on its back on a firm surface.

Free from any suffocation hazards like soft bedding or toys. Karp said these all pose hazards. “Soft toys, blankets, pillows, pillowy bumpers, all of those can be a problem because you put your baby down on the back, doesn’t mean they stay on the back, right? They can roll and they get their face into something and in the middle of the night that baby may be so sleepy that they just don’t have the power to push themselves up and roll off of that.”

Dress them in light, breathable clothing to prevent overheating.

Use a lightweight sleep sack. Also, consider a crib in the same room as the parent.

Dr. Karp said the FDA recently authorized a new sleep device for keeping babies safely on their backs. Karp is also the creator of the new product.

“That’s a baby bed called SNOO Smart Sleeper. SNOO is a responsive bed that rocks and shish babies all night long,” Karp said. “When they cry, it rocks and shushes them even more and it secures them on the back with a special swaddle so they can’t roll to an unsafe position.”

Karp said the designation as a medical device means more insurance companies could cover the cost of these devices, which are expensive.  He said they cost about $5 a day to rent.