Safe sleep for babies

Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI) is the sudden and unexplained death of a child under 1 year of age. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant under 1 year old where the death remains unexplained after post-mortem.

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. Place baby with their feet at the foot end of the cot.

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. 

Babies Bedtime Checklist

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:

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