Meeting and getting to know your baby is an extremely exciting and rewarding time. It’s also the beginning of a new relationship. Babies need a lot of sleep during the first few months of their lives so it’s important to ensure that they are sleeping as safely as possible.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby where no cause is found. While SIDS is rare, it can still happen and there are steps parents can take to help reduce the chance of this tragedy occurring.
Although we don’t yet know how to completely prevent SIDS, it is possible to significantly lower the chances of it happening by following the advice opposite. You should try to follow the advice for all sleep periods where possible, not just at night.
This guide lists the essential things you can do, or avoid doing, to help lower the chance of SIDS and explains why they are so important. You can also talk to your midwife or health visitor if you have any questions or concerns, or get in touch with us.
Things you can do…
- Always place your baby on their back to sleep.
- Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth.
- Breastfeed your baby, if you can.
- Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months.
- Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition.
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, take drugs or are extremely tired, or if your 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.
The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,