Sleep Safety Guidelines for Babiesby Laura Driver
Safe sleeping advice has helped to dramatically reduce SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome,or crib death) and is something every parent should know about. Until your baby is six months old, the safest place for your baby to sleep is in their own crib, in the same room as you, whether it’s during the night or at nap time in the day.
Always place your baby to sleep on their back - in the 'feet to foot' sleeping position - with their feet at the bottom of the crib. Tuck in the blanket no higher than their shoulders. Your baby’s head should always be uncovered. Breastfeeding your baby also reduces the risk of SIDS, if you can.
- Don’t allow anyone to smoke in the house, especially in the same room with your baby.
- Don't share a bed with your baby if you're really tired, have drunk alcohol or taken any form of drugs, or if you or your partner smoke, even if you never smoke in the house.
- Don’t take your baby into your bed if they were born prematurely or had a low birth weight (less than 2.5kg or 5 1/2 pounds).
- Never go to sleep on the sofa or in a chair while holding your baby.
- Remove any soft toys from the cot before your baby goes to sleep.
- A second-hand mattress, brought in from outside your family home, may increase the risk of SIDS. To be on the safe side, you may decide to buy a new mattress. Choose a firm, flat mattress with its own waterproof cover and if it’s been used before by your older children, make sure it’s in good condition without any rips or tears. It should fit snugly within the crib.
- Don't use duvets, pillows or crib bumpers.
- Try to keep your baby’s room at a constant temperature – the ideal is about 68-72F.
- Never put your baby’s cot next to a radiator or in direct sunlight, because they could overheat.