It can be daunting as a parent of a young baby to know what to do about safer sleep and know what the current guidelines are. I’m often asked about safer sleep by my clients, so I thought that it would be helpful to do another blog on Safer Sleep Guidelines to help new parents who may be worried about the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Current UK Safer Sleep Guidelines recommend the following:
- For the first 6 months of your baby’s life, the safest place for them to sleep is in a separate cot or moses basket in the same room as you, even for daytime sleep.
- Always put your baby on their back to sleep for both day naps and night sleep.
- Always place your baby with their feet at the bottom of the cot or crib they are sleeping in, ensure any blankets can’t go over their heads and keep their cot free of any items such as bedding, soft toys or cot bumpers. Make sure that the mattress they are sleeping on is firm, flat and in good condition.
- Keep an eye on the temperature of the room that your baby is sleeping in as it’s important that they don’t overheat. The optimum temperature for your baby’s room should be 16 – 20C – once you know the temperature of the room, you can then dress your baby appropriately so that they don’t get too hot.
- Don’t smoke, or allow anyone else to smoke, around your baby.
- If you choose to co-sleep, ensure that you follow Safer Sleep Guidelines around co-sleeping – keep pillows, sheets and blankets away from your baby, don’t allow pets or other children in the bed and ensure any adult in the bed has not been drinking alcohol, smoking or is extremely tired.
- The use of dummies has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Never sleep holding your baby whilst sitting on a sofa or armchair.
The Lullaby Trust has many helpful articles and resources on their site if you want to read more about this. Safer Sleep Guidelines are updated frequently, so it’s always good to check back to see if anything new has been added.
I hope this has been useful. Please do get in touch or comment below if you have any questions.
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