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Safer Sleeping for Babies

Date: Tuesday, 17th Oct 2023 | Category: General

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) claims the lives of approximately 230 babies every year in the UK, but parents, carers and others can help to keep babies safe.




Top tips

·         The safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own clear, flat, separate sleep space such as a cot or moses basket and in the same room as you for the first six months.

·         Always place your baby on their back to sleep (not on their front or side).

·         Make sure your baby’s mattress is in good condition and fits the moses basket or cot.

·         The chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot.

·         Never cover your baby’s head (even in a sling indoors)

·         Avoid cot bumpers, pillows, loose bedding and products (such as wedges or straps) that will keep your baby in one sleeping position.

·         If possible, aim for room temperature between 16 to 20⁰C, but be careful that co sleeping and bedding will increase the temperature around the baby.



If you choose to co-sleep or it is unplanned, please avoid this if:

·         your baby was born prematurely or weighed under 2.5kg or 5½ lbs when they were born

·         you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes any medication that makes you drowsy or affects your awareness

·         you or your partner smoke

·         there is any chance another child will join you to sleep



There are a few things you can do to protect your baby even further:

·         Never fall asleep on a sofa as this greatly increases risk of dying by more than 50 times

  • Watch or read something to keep you alert
  • Feed your baby safely where you will not fall asleep
  • Set an alarm to go off 15 minutes after feeding has started. If you feel tired once it goes off, move the baby to their safe sleeping space.
  • Breastfeeding babies for as long as possible in the first year decreases the risk of SIDS

You can get lots of advice from your local children’s centre and the health visiting service.

Useful websites for information, advice and support: