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.

As 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.Baby asleep in cot
  • 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. For help and support to quit smoking, check out our friendly Smoke Free Homes team
  • 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.

For further information regarding safer sleeping visit The Lullaby Trust website or Lift the Baby resource.

Baby's Sleep

All babies are different, yet it is common for most babies will wake often in the night. New-born’s sleep anywhere from 8-18 hours out of 24 and takes time for babies to get into a pattern of being awake more in the day than at night.

But that doesn’t make having a baby any less tiring or the broken night sleep any easier, and it is more common for babies to be around a year old before they start sleep all through the night. But don’t worry, your lack of sleep won’t last forever.

Just like adults, there will be times when babies struggle to get to sleep or wake again in the night. This may be because they are unwell, ‘overtired’ or coping with changes. They may also be experiences developmental change.

Children's Sleep

As our children get older, it’s still important to make sure they are getting enough sleep, to help keep them well, thrive and reach their potential. Sleep is important for their physical and mental wellbeing. Getting the right amount of sleep will;

  • Improve concentration and attention span
  • Give their brain time to ‘file’ in their memory what it has learnt in the day
  • Let their body rest and repair - this helps to keep the immune system ready to protect from illnesses
  • Reduce stress hormones and is good for emotional and mental health.

Yet sometimes sleep can be more difficult, and there can be lots of things stopping your child from getting a good night’s sleep such as:

  • Life changes/ worries
  • Bad dreams/ night-time fears
  • Lack of bedtime routine
  • Over-stimulation before bedtime

Sleeping Habits - Webinars

Follow the links below to view the webinar within Youtube (opens in new window)