What is Considered to be Safe Sleep for Babies?
Safe sleep means putting your baby to sleep in ways that can help protect them from dangers like choking and suffocation (not being able to breath), and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (also known as SIDS). SIDS is the unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year old and usually happens when a baby is sleeping.
How to reduce the risk of SIDS
The Lullaby Trust's safer sleep advice gives simple steps for how you can sleep your baby to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which is commonly known as cot death. It can give you the peace of mind to enjoy this special time. The Lullaby Trust has an information line that you can call if you have any questions about SIDS of safer sleep. Call 0808 802 6869 Monday to Friday 10am- 5pm.
Quick Tips for Safer Sleep
Things you can do:
- Always place your baby on their back to sleep
- Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
- Place your baby to sleep in a different cot or moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 month
- Breastfeed your baby
- Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in a good position
Things to avoid:
- Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
- Don't sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if you baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight
- Avoid letting your baby get too hot
- Don't cover your baby's face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding
Click on the links below to find lots of information about how to sleep your baby more safely
- Latest advice on coronavirus if you are pregnant or have a young child
- Free presentations on how to sleep your baby safely and reduce the risk of SIDS
- Warm weather can make following sleep advice more complication. Here is some tips on how to enjoy warm weather and keep your baby safe.
- It is important to make sure that your baby's room is a comfortable temperature- not too hot or too cold. The chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot. Try to keep the room temperature between 16-20 degrees.
- Always put your baby on their back for every sleep, day and night, as the chance of SIDS is particularly high for babies who are sometimes places on their front or side.
- The safest place for your baby to sleep is a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months, even during the day.
- If you or your partner smoke while you're pregnant or after your baby is born, the risk of SIDS is greatly increased.
- With so many products on the market, it can be easy to get confused about what babies should sleep in or on Remember, the safest mattresses for your baby are firm and flat and protected by a waterproof cover.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS. Breastfeeding for at least 2 months halved the risk of SIDS but the longer you can continue the more protection it will give the baby.
- Some parents choose to share a bed (also known as co-sleeping) with their babies. It is important for you to know how to do this safely and that there are some circumstances in which bed sharing with your baby can be very dangerous.
- Lullaby Trust so not advise for or against swaddling. If you choose to swaddle your baby or use a sling it is very important to follow guidelines to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Babies are at higher risk of SIDS if they have their heads covered, so it is safest to keep baby's cot clear of any items such as bumpers, toys and loose bedding. Unnecessary items in a baby's cot can also increase the risk of accidents.
- Babies who are born prematurely (before 37 weeks) or of a low birth weight (under 2.5kgs) are particularly vulnerable to SIDS and it is important that all the safer sleep advice is followed.
- Some research suggests that using a dummy when putting a baby down to sleep could reduce the risk of SIDS but it is advised to wait until after breastfeeding is established.
The Lullaby Trust offer confidential bereavement support to anyone affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or young child. They offer the opportunity to talk freely, for as long as required with a sympathetic and understanding listener. For this support, call the bereavement support helpline on 0808 802 6868 or email email@example.com. Calls to the helpline are free from all landlines and most mobile phone networks. The helpline is open 10am-5pm from Monday to Friday and 6pm-10pm on weekends and public holidays.