This week (12th
March), marks The Lullaby Trust
’s ‘Safer Sleep Week’ annual awareness campaign. With SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
), tragically claiming approximately 214 baby’s lives every year, there is still much work to do to inform parents and carers on safe sleep practices.
The Lullaby Trust is a charity that works to reduce the number of infant deaths through funding vital research as well as supporting bereaving families.
They have created a checklist of handy sleep essentials
as a quick reminder:-
Cot/Moses Basket & mattresses
The mattress must be firm, entirely flat and waterproof, with no soft or cushioned areas, particularly around the baby’s head. Soft mattresses can prevent heat loss meaning that a baby can easily overheat.
Moses basket/travel cot/carry cot
It is recommended that a baby sleeps in the same room as you even during the day so a portable sleeping vessel is very handy for naps. Any padding must follow the same advice as for their normal mattress (see above) and you mustn’t add any additional cushioning.
Sleeping bag or sheets and a blanket
Baby sleeping bags are a good option as they prevent your baby’s head from being covered as they wriggle around in their sleep. Blankets are fine as an alternative to sleeping bags, but they should not be folded over, they must be be tucked in and come no higher than the shoulders.
Any room a baby sleeps in should be between 16-20 degrees. A room thermometer can help you stop your baby getting too hot or cold.
Babies are safest sleeping flat and on their backs. Like all places where your baby may sleep, make sure the area is firm, flat and waterproof. Check with the individual pram manufacturer to whether their carrycot is suitable for overnight sleeping.
They are essential for travel safety, but babies should not sleep in a car seat for long periods. The recommendation now for newborn babies is 30 minutes at a time. Many car seats aren’t flat, which can mean babies are slumped over and lacking proper support. On longer journeys make regular stops, use a rear mirror or if possible have an adult in the back with the baby.
SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant, where no cause is found. You can dramatically cut the risk of SIDS with a few safe sleeping guidelines.
- Always place a baby on his/her back when they sleep. This can cut the risk of SIDS by 6 times compared to sleeping on their front. The rate of SIDS has fallen by 81% since 1991 when the ‘Back to Sleep’ message was launched.
- Share a bedroom with your baby for the first 6 months, this can halve the chance of SIDS.
- Never sleep with a baby on a sofa or armchair. The risk of SIDS in this situation is 50 times greater than if they are on a flat, firm mattress in cot/Moses basket/carrycot.
- Do not bed share, however tempting it can be, if you or your partner have been drinking, smoking, are extremely tired, or your baby was born premature or of a low birth weight.
- Don’t let your baby get too hot.
- Don’t use loose bedding or covers as these may smother the baby.
Take a look at all our essential baby sleep items such as cots, sleeping bags, thermometers, prams
and car seats.