When a baby who has died from SIDS is discovered, her temperature is often extremely high. Cases in the U.S. also peak in winter, when infants are likely to be overdressed. This has led scientists to believe that overheating may affect babies' arousal mechanisms. Keep the room around 68?F, a temperature at which you're comfortable when dressed in light clothes Dr. Schmidt advises. Worried she'll be cold? Try a sleep sack, a blanket that zips around her body but leaves her arms and head exposed.
It's also a good idea to turn on a fan. A study at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, found that babies who slept in a room with a fan had more than a 70 percent reduced risk of SIDS. It's likely that the airflow keeps carbon dioxide from building up around a baby's face, but a fan also keeps the room cooler, says study coauthor De-Kun Li, M.D., Ph.D.