Sleeping is a very big part of your baby’s life during their first year and it is important that they sleep as safely as possible.
Sadly 200 babies die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the UK each year. During your pregnancy and following the birth of your baby you will be offered advice and support from your midwife and Starting Well Partnership team on safer sleep for your baby.
These are things that you should do to keep them as safe as possible:
- Always put your baby on their back to sleep. Once your baby can roll from back to front and back again, they can find their own posit ion to sleep in. (This is normally when a baby is 6-9 months old)
- Put them to sleep in a separate Moses basket or cot in the same room as you for the first 6 months.
- Ensure that the Moses basket or cot has a firm, flat, waterproof mattress which is in good condition.
- Have a “clear cot”-ensure that the Moses basket /cot is clear of pillows, heavy blankets, quilts, soft toys, cushions and cot bumpers until they are over 1 year of age.
- Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth. If you or your partner smokes you should never share a bed with your baby as this greatly increases the chance of SIDS. Help is available to give up smoking- call NHS smokefree on 0800 022 4332
- Breastfeed your baby- breastfed babies have a lower chance of SIDS. Talk to your midwife, breastfeeding support worker or Health Visitor about support with breastfeeding.
- Temperature- babies don’t like to be too hot or cold. There is a higher risk of SIDS in babies who get too hot. Keep the room temperature at 16-20 degrees C. You can check your baby’s temperature by feeling their tummy- their hands and feet will be cooler which is normal.
- If your baby is unwell please seek medical advice from your GP, or by using the NHS111 online service. If you're unable to use this service, phone NHS111.