How to Protect Your Baby From Cot Death |

Ask An Expert: I’m Worried About Cot Death – What Can I Do To Ensure My Baby Sleeps Safely?

The Lullaby Trust highlights the sleep safety steps that can significantly reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome

Posted on

12 March 2019

sleep safety steps

All Credits: PA

What’s the best way to keep my baby safe while he’s asleep? I’m really worried about the chances of cot death.

Marking Safer Sleep Week (March 11-17), Kate Holmes, support and information manager at The Lullaby Trust, says: “It’s natural to be worried about sudden infant death syndrome (also known as SIDS or cot death). The good news is, research proves there are steps every parent can take to reduce the risk. If you follow safer sleep advice, the risk of SIDS is very low.

“Firstly and most importantly, babies should always sleep on their backs in a clear space (free of loose bedding, bumpers, toys, pillows or anything that could cover their head or face), in the same room as you for every sleep day and night. They should be kept away from tobacco smoke both during pregnancy and after birth.

“Babies should sleep on a firm, flat mattress with a waterproof cover, no pods or nests or anything with raised or cushioned areas or sides. When sleeping, babies shouldn’t lie on or have anything soft around them, particularly their heads, as this can cause them to overheat and increases the risk of SIDS.

“If you plan to share a bed with your baby, it’s important to make sure you do so in the safest way, by keeping pillows and adult bedding away from baby; keeping pets away from the bed and not allowing other children to also share the bed; and placing baby so they won’t fall out of bed or get trapped between the mattress and the wall.

“A recent survey of 8,500 parents by The Lullaby Trust found that 33% of parents had shared a bed with their baby in an unplanned situation. It’s best to prepare the sleeping space so that if you do fall asleep together, the bed is safer for your baby.

“Never fall asleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby, this can increase the risk of SIDS by 50 times. If you think you might doze off, move somewhere safer or put baby down in a cot or Moses basket.

“It’s important to know there are some circumstances where it’s unsafe to share a bed with your baby. You should not bed share if you have recently drunk any alcohol; you or your partner smoke; you’ve taken any drugs that make you feel sleepy or less aware; your baby was born prematurely or was a low birth weight.”

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