Safe sleep - Better Lives Healthy Futures

Safe sleep

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Safe sleep is very important. You, and anyone helping you, needs to understand how to keep your baby safe whilst they sleep.
Safe sleeping baby

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS or cot death) and sleep related accidental deaths and injuries are rare, so don’t let worrying about that stop you enjoying your baby’s first few months.

Follow our top tips for safer sleep below and for more detailed information, scroll down and use the links in the further information section – all of which are from trusted organisations and recommended by the NHS.

Your baby’s bed

• Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months, even during the day.

• Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition. Soft beds, bean bags and sagging mattresses are not suitable.

• Avoid letting your baby get too hot or cold – the chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot. Try to keep the room temperature between 16 -20°C.

• The room where your baby sleeps should always be a smoke-free zone

Putting your baby to bed

• Put your baby on their back for every sleep, day and night – the chance of SIDS is high for babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side.

• Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding.

• Keep your baby’s cot clear of any items such as bumpers or toys. Unnecessary items in a baby’s cot can increase the risk of accidents or SIDS.

Sharing a bed with your baby

• If you choose to share a bed with your baby (also known as co-sleeping) it is very important for you to know how to do this safely.

• It is very dangerous for you, your partner or anyone else to share a bed with your baby if you smoke, drink, take drugs or are extremely tired, or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight

• Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby.

Use the further information links below for more detailed information from NHS recommended, trusted organisations.

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Further information

Lullaby Trust – safe sleep advice

The Lullaby Trust offers helpful information about safe sleep including how breast feeding can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, commonly known as cot death.

Reducing risk of cot death

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is rare, so don’t let worrying about it stop you enjoying your baby’s first few months but have a look at the information on what you can do to help prevent it including sleep positions and room temperature.

Caring for your baby at night

Becoming a parent is a special time. Getting to know your new baby can be one of the most rewarding experiences but it can also be challenging, especially when you’re tired. This Unicef leaflet provides some helpful advice.

BASIS - how babies sleep

This website has useful evidence-based information for parents and carers on how and where babies sleep, and why they sleep as they do.

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