Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), is the sudden unexplained death of a child of less than one year of age.
Help to reduce the chance of SIDS by using this checklist for all naps, not just the night time sleep:
Place in a cot on a firm mattress
The safest place for your baby to sleep for their first six months is in the same room as you in a cot or Moses basket.
Remove any toys or cot bumpers.
Tuck the blanket firmly into the mattress covering only the lower half of the baby, as loose bedding can cover your baby's face.
Check the room temperature
Over heating increases the risks of SIDs significantly. The ideal temperature for sleeping babies is 16-20 degrees. Babies do not need to wear hats indoors.
The best place to check if your baby is too warm is their tummy or back of the neck.
Smoke free environment
Babies who are exposed to smoke before and after birth have a much higher chance of SIDs than babies who are kept smoke free. Smoking still affects your baby even if you smoke outside, as the chemicals cling to your skin, hair and clothing.
Always place your baby on their back to sleep
Babies are unable to support their own weight and sleeping on their front or side could block their airway and stop them from breathing.
Be aware that drinking alcohol or taking any drugs will make you feel sleepy
and can impair your ability to wake up if your baby needs you.
If you're sitting on the sofa with your baby and you start feeling sleepy, put the baby in their cot immediately as sleeping on a chair or sofa with a baby is very dangerous.
If mum has fallen asleep in bed whilst feeding your baby, place the baby in their cot before you get into bed too, letting mum know that you have done so.
All the information above is also contained of the following infographic. Right click and save, or screenshot so that you can refer to it easily.
This YouTube video from the Lullaby Trust shows how you can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The advice is based on strong scientific evidence and should be followed for all sleep periods, not just at night.
This YouTube video from NHS Creative is part of the Lift The Baby campaign, aimed at promoting safer sleeping in younger babies.
Further information available on the Lullaby Trust website:
- How to reduce the risk of SIDS
- The best sleeping position for your baby
- Sharing a room with your baby
- Co-sleeping with your baby
- The safest room temperature for your baby
- Smoking during pregnancy and around your baby
- The best mattresses and bedding for your baby
- Breast feeding and SIDS
- A clear cot is a safe cot
- Reducing the risk of SIDS for premature babies.