Mystery of SIDS: What Parents Need to Know

Researchers now believe Sudden Infant Death Syndrome may be the result of abnormalities in the brainstem. They think that's the control center that wakes up healthy babies who breathe in too much carbon dioxide and are in danger of suffocating.

Pediatricians explain it's probably both of those factors working together that lead to SIDS.

Pediatrician Dr. Dolly Schutte Marx says, "Babies that are predisposed to maybe having that happen already; then, they come in contact with a risk factor, and that's when that happens. But there is definitely maybe something that is something we have no control over."

So while you can't control abnormal brain receptors, Dr. Marx says you do have a hand in preventing other risk factors: don't smoke, don't sleep with your baby, and don't put them on their stomachs to go to sleep.