Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby where no cause is found, it is also known as cot death. While SIDS is rare, it can still happen and there are steps parents can take to help reduce the chance of this tragedy occurring.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG’s Better Births team, along with The Lullaby Trust have some safer sleep advice anyone who looks after a young baby can use
Things you can do
- Always place your baby on their back to sleep
- Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
- Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
- Breastfeed your baby
- Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition
- Place your baby 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 smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight
- Avoid letting your baby get too hot or too cold
- Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding. Their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders.
Linda Wayles, Project Midwife for Maternity Transformation Programme at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG said, “Whether you are first time parents, third time parents, grandparents or anyone who looks after a young baby this advice is for you. It is easy to get bombarded with messages about what you should or shouldn’t do regarding young babies and sleep, especially when sleep can feel so hard to have. Ask your midwife or health visitor if you have any concerns. This advice from the Lullaby Trust can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome which is also known as cot death.”
Safer Sleep Week is The Lullaby Trust’s national awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby.
Jenny Ward, CEO of The Lullaby Trust, said, "At The Lullaby Trust we know that parental tiredness can often make following safer sleep advice difficult. Sleep deprivation can be overwhelming and this Safer Sleep Week we will be focusing on the importance of consistently following safer sleep practices and helping parents make informed safer sleep choices, even when they are exhausted."