Safer Sleeping Advice
The Lullaby Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales that raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). They provide expert advice on safer sleep for babies and offer emotional support for bereaved families. You may have heard the term 'cot death' which was a term previously used and has largely been abandoned, due to its misleading suggestions that sudden infant death can only occur when a baby is asleep in their cot, which is untrue.
Although it is very uncommon, The Lullaby Trust aims to reduce the number of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths and support bereaved families in the sudden loss of a baby or young child.
It is not clear what causes SIDS but for many babies, it is thought that a combination of factors affects them at a vulnerable stage of their development, which leads them to die suddenly and unexpectedly. Around 86% of SIDS deaths happen when a baby is six months old or less.
We as parents and carers can significantly reduce the chance of SIDS occurring by following safer sleep advice.
- Babies should sleep in a clear sleep space, which is easy to create in a cot or Moses basket
- The temperature of the room. Chances of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot, so try to keep between 16 -20'C
- Always put your baby on their back for every sleep, day and night as chances of SIDS are higher on the front or side
- The safest mattresses for your baby are firm and flat and protected by a waterproof cover
- Choose the safest sleeping products for example does the item comply with British Standards which you can find on the packaging, instructions, or website
- For the first 6 months it is recommended babies sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you
- Some research suggests that using a dummy when putting a baby down to sleep could reduce the risk of SIDS
- Research into the link between car seats and SIDS found young babies may be at risk of breathing difficulties if they travel while sitting upright for too long
For further advice on safer sleeping check out the Lullaby Trust's website where you can find more information or speak to your health visitor.