Sudden and Unexpected Death of an Infant or Young Child - Further Reading

From bereaved families following SUDI:

1. When Grief is too Much to Bear. (2014). Australian Women’s Weekly, 84(9), 58.

The article offers information on how to deal with grief of a child’s death by the periodical who spoke with three mothers, residents of Australia, which include Rosie Batty, Caroline Verity and Samantha Hayward. It presents ways by these mothers to deal with their grief including being busy in domestic violence campaign by Batty, forming the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) support group by Hayward to give therapy sessions to mothers who had lost their children.

2. Hayward, S. (2013). How to Talk to a Parent who is in Grief. From Someone who’s Been There. Mamamia [full text]

Extract: The soul destroying grief of your child dying is only truly known and understood by those who have endured it. Four years on, I still glance down at my daughter’s grave in disbelief. Visiting my child’s grave is surreal. It’s almost like I’ve vacated my body and I’m watching someone I don’t know standing there putting flowers down….

3. Horchler, J. & Morris, R. (2011). SIDS & Infant Death Survival Guide: Information & Comfort for Grieving Family & Friends & Professionals who Seek to Help Them (4th ed., rev. and upd). SIDS Educational Services, Cheverly, MD, USA. Find in an Australian library

“.. 2011 fourth edition is revised and updated and has a new introduction by Dr. Henry Krous. It provides authoritative new medical research information on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and infant death, and articles and poems by parents and family members who have lost babies to SIDS and other deaths such as suffocation. The most comprehensive book ever written on SIDS, its 19 chapers cover everything from the particular grief of mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, friends, and child-care providers to guilt, anger, dreams, premonitions, peer and professional support, emergency response, planning funerals, enduring anniversaries, having subsequent children, and reducing the risk of SIDS and infant death. The crucial issue of how child-care facilities can reduce their risk of being held liable for babies who die in their care is also covered.” [publisher blurb]

4. Baker, A. M., & Crandall, L.1 (2009). To Hold or Not to Hold. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 5(4), 321-323. [full text]

Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Extract: I have spoken with hundreds of families who have lost their babies and young children to sudden and unexpected deaths in the last ten years. I also faced the sudden death of my own daughter when she was 15 months old. The death investigation process is not easy on anyone. There are important and vital parts of the process that cannot be avoided, and there is no way to spare the family from them. However, the inability for a parent to say goodbye to their child adds an additional layer of tragedy into that parent’s grief which may be long-lasting, and should be avoided whenever possible…

5. Chalmers, A. (2007). A Family’s Journey. In Sidebotham, P., & Fleming, P. J. (2007). Unexpected Death in Childhood: A Handbook for Practitioners. Chichester, England ; Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, c2007. [Find in an Australian library]

6. Gurbutt, D. J. (2007). Sudden Infant Death Syndrome : Learning from Stories about SIDS, Motherhood and Loss. Oxford ; Seattle : Radcliffe Pub. [Find in an Australian library]

‘...finding my baby that day shattered my life ...nothing would ever, ever be the same way again…’ This insightful guide is based on real life accounts from mothers who have experienced Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Focusing on grief, motherhood and maternal identity, the book is an intriguing read - often upsetting, yet desperately compelling. The stories and poignant memories bring the subject to life. Health and social care professionals will find a wealth of emotional and practical insights to improve professional practice, as will psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors and therapists. ‘This book has been written primarily to enable others to reflect on some of the stories which circulate around SIDS. They are not always easy stories to write or easy stories to read - but they are stories that need to be told and heard so that we can increase understanding of SIDS.’ - Dawne J Gurbutt, in the Preface.

7. Lambe, M. (2004). A Love Beyond Measure. Good Housekeeping, 238(1), 94-99.

From one year to the next, a child is mourned, a child is born, and a grieving family begins to find its way again.


8. Horchler, J. & Morris, R. (2011). SIDS & Infant Death Survival Guide: Information & Comfort for Grieving Family & Friends & Professionals who Seek to Help Them (4th ed., rev. and upd). SIDS Educational Services, Cheverly, MD, USA

For bereaved families following SUDI or SUDC:

9. Parks, P. (2009). Surviving the Aftermath of SIDS. In Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. (pp 59-69). Detroit, MI: Lucent Books.

Excerpt: Chapter Four Surviving the Aftermath of SIDS People who have lost children to SIDS suffer from grief that seems unbearable. They wonder how they can go on living without their [...]

10. The album Love and Let Go by Jenny McGregor is available free for bereaved parents and family members by contacting Jenny through

Last reviewed: 25/9/22