Safer Sleeping Advice

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby where no cause is found.  While SIDS is rare, it can still happen and there are things you can do and avoid to help reduce the risk of SIDS by following steps for safer sleep:

  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
  • Always place your baby on their back when you lay them for sleep
  • Place your baby in the "feet to foot" position (with their feet at the end of the cot or Moses basket)
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition
  • Always keep your baby in a smoke free environment during pregnancy and after birth
  • Don't smoke during pregnancy or breastfeeding and don't let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby
  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired
  • Don’t sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
  • Don’t let your baby get too hot or too cold
  • Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding. Their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders.

Information regarding safer sleeping can be obtained from the NHS website at:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/reducing-risk-cot-death.aspx

The Lullaby Trust also provides advice and support for parent on safe sleeping.  Further information can be obtained from:

https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep

Parents and carers should be aware that an offence of cruelty has been introduced by the Serious Crime Act 2015.  Where, as a result of overlaying, a child under three years of age has died due to suffocation and they were sleeping with a person over sixteen who was under the influence of drink or a prohibited drug an offence may have been committed. Where this is the case, a criminal investigations may take place and in some cases the parent or carer may be arrested and prosecuted for a criminal offence.

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