SIDS is a heartbreaking tragedy that can cause both nap and night times to be stressful and anxiety inducing for parents all over the UK. As a guide on how to keep your sleeping baby safe, this blog will cover how to reduce the risk of SIDS through the dos and don’ts of safe sleep as well as how to safely co-sleep with your baby.
A Guide To Keeping Your Baby Sleeping Safely
When it comes to ensuring that your baby is sleeping safely, it’s important to follow what is known as the ABCs of safe sleep: your baby should always sleep ALONE, on their BACK and in their CRIB.
There are also a variety of resources available for parents, expecting, new and experienced, on reducing the risk of SIDS, providing advice and raising awareness. For example, The Lullaby Trust has helped to reduce the number of babies who pass away by up to 80%. Through their ongoing work and research, they have produced numerous resource documents to aid parents in their baby's sleep journey between birth and 8 months old.
How To Reduce The Risk Of SIDS
SIDS, also known as sudden infant death syndrome or cot death, refers to when a seemingly healthy baby suddenly and unexpectedly passes away with no explanation. Despite between 150-200 babies a year passing away as a result of SIDS, it remains rare. However, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce the risk of SIDS, including dos and do nots.
Dos For Keeping Your Sleeping Baby Safe
When it comes to ensuring safe sleep for your baby, there are a few tips and tricks typically recommended. These include:
- Remain smoke-free during pregnancy and after giving birth
- Always keep your baby on their back when sleeping
- Make use of the feet to foot position, where your baby;s feet are at the end of their cot or Moses basket
- Use a high quality waterproof mattress that is both firm and flat
- Make sure nothing is covering your baby’s head
- Keep your sleeping baby in the same room as you for their first few months
- Put your baby to sleep in a Moses basket separate from your bed
- Remove all soft toys, bedding and bumpers from your baby’s cot or Moses basket
Dont’s For Keeping Your Sleeping Baby Safe
As well as being aware of what you should do, there are a range of important pointers that should be avoided when it comes to ensuring safe sleep for your baby. These include:
- Do not tuck your baby’s blanket any higher than their shoulders to ensure their head/face is not covered
- Avoid sleeping in the same bed as your baby
- Do not let your baby get too hot or too cold by maintaining the rooms temperature between 16-20 degrees celsius
- Never fall asleep on the settee or armchair with your baby
- Do not swaddle your baby too tightly
- Never put your baby to sleep on their front or side
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or during breastfeeding, as well as removing your baby from the potential of secondhand smoke
How To Safely Co-Sleep With Your Baby
Although the safest space for a sleeping baby is their own separate cot or Moses basket, there are times when co-sleeping happens naturally. Either planned or not, it’s always a good idea to create a safe space for when it comes to co-sleeping alongside your baby. In addition to the dos for keeping your sleeping baby safe, these include:
- Never leave your baby alone the bed
- Do not allow any pets or other children onto the bed at the same time as your sleeping baby
- Remove all pillows and soft bedding from the bed to reduce the risk of overheating or suffocation
- Make sure there are no areas where your baby may become trapped or fall out of the drowsy or if you are extremely tired