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What Is Safe Sleeping? Reducing the risk of SIDS

Keeping our babies safe is our number one priority and hearing terms like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can be really scary.

But there are things you can do to reduce the risk. 

The good news is that since The Lullaby Trust launched their Back to Sleep campaign in 1991, SIDS deaths have dropped by 82%. It’s now a rare event but sadly 200 babies a year do still die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

What is safe sleeping? 

We don’t know why some babies die suddenly from SIDS or cot death. But we do know there are a number of things that reduce or increase the risk. 

Read more about safer sleeping from the Lullaby Trust. 

Things to do

  • Put your baby on their back to sleep.
  • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or around your baby.
  • Put your baby in a separate cot or Moses basket in your room for the first 6 months.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition.
  • Put them in the feet to foot position with their feet at the end of the cot or Moses basket.

Things to avoid

  • Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby.
  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you’ve drunk alcohol, taken drugs, or if they’re a premmie or low birth weight.
  • Don’t let your baby get too hot and keep their head uncovered.
  • Don’t tuck blankets in higher than their shoulders.

And we know bumpers and soft toys look lovely but a clear cot is best. Babies don’t need pillows and quilts, avoid them until after 12 months.

Found this useful? Read SIDS Awareness: Reducing the risk.

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