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Safer Sleep for Babies

Safer Sleep for Babies

Every year in the UK 300 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep.  While there is no advice which can guarantee the prevention of sudden and unexpected death in infancy (SUDI), also referred to as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk to your baby both at nap time and bed time;

Things you can do to reduce the risk to your baby

Check their sleeping position and environment

  • The safest place for your baby to sleep for the first six months of their life, is in the same room as you in a separate cot or Moses basket
  • Make sure the cot or Moses basket has a firm flat mattress which is in good condition
  • Always place your baby on their back with their feet at the bottom of the cot or Moses Basket
  • Don’t cover your baby’s face or head or use loose bedding whilst they are sleeping
  • Make sure you remove any toys or cot bumpers

Check the room temperature

  • Overheating can increase the risk of SUDI, avoid letting your baby get too hot
  • The ideal temperature for your sleeping baby is between 16 – 20 degrees
  • The best place to check if your baby is too warm is on their tummy or the back of their neck
  • Your baby does not need to wear a hat indoors

Ensure a smoke free environment

  • Babies who are exposed to smoke before and after birth have a much higher chance of SUDI compared to babies who are kept smoke free

Prevent and Protect

  • Be aware that drinking alcohol or taking any drugs, this includes prescription drugs that can make you drowsy, can impair your ability to wake up if your baby needs you
  • Do not sleep in the same bed with your baby if you or anyone in the bed has recently smoked, drank alcohol or taken drugs, this includes prescription drugs that can make you drowsy
  • Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby, the risk of SUDI increase by 50%
  • Do not sleep in the same bed with your baby if you are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of a low birth-weight under 2.5kg or 5 ½ lbs

This video from the Lullaby Trust shows how you can reduce the risk of SIDS. The advice is based on strong scientific evidence and should be followed for all sleep periods, not just at night.

Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents

https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Safer-sleep-for-babies-a-guide-for-parents-web.pdf

To access more resources and learn more about ways of reducing the associated factors with SUDI/SIDS please visit www.lullabytrust.org.uk or speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor.

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