Safeguarding Children:

Safer Sleep - Parents and Carers

Safer Sleep for Baby

290 babies die unexpectedly before their first birthday every year. Many of these deaths are classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or cot death, which usually happens when babies are sleeping.

No-one wants to think that the worst will happen to their baby but it's important that parents and carers know the risks and what they can do about them.

Do you know your six steps?

Safer sleep for baby focuses on six easy to follow steps which you can follow any time you put your baby down to sleep.
1. Keep baby away from smoke, before and after birth.
2. Put baby in a cot, crib or moses basket to sleep - never fall asleep with them on a sofa or chair.
3. Never fall asleep with baby after drinking or taking drugs/medication.
4. Put baby to sleep on their back with their feet to the foot of the cot.
5. Keep baby's head and face uncovered and make sure they don't get too hot.
6. Breastfeed your baby - support is available if you need it.

Your baby should sleep in the same room as you for the first six months

Sleeping away from home? 

If you're baby is going to be sleeping somewhere different for the first time, whether this is on holiday or at a baby sitters, it's important that whoever is looking after them follows the safer sleep advice.

Before you go away there are a few extra things you should think about.

  • At home, your baby will probably sleep in the same cot or Moses basket every night. Before you go away, it's really important to plan ahead – will the place you are staying provide a travel or ordinary cot, or will you need to take one with you?
  • f you are using a cot that's been provided, make sure you examine it for any hazards. Is the cot assembled correctly? Is it free from cot bumpers, toys and excess bedding?
  • You should also make sure the cot is not positioned near anything that could be a hazard, such as blind cords that the baby could become entangled in, or near a window sill that things could fall off.
  • Make sure your baby doesn’t get too hot. Check the weather conditions and forecast, check the heating settings and make sure your baby is dressed appropriately. Have you got the correct bedding for the temperature? The ideal temperature for your baby's room is between 16-20 degrees centigrade.
  • If the baby is going to be sleeping in a separate room, will you be able to hear them or do you need to take baby monitors?
Getting the right information from professionals will help you keep your baby safe.

If you need to talk anything through, you can speak to your:

  • Midwife
  • Health visitor
  • Local Children's Centre
  • Or you can call the Lullaby Trust