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Safer sleep advice – information for parents

Posted on: 25 March 2022

Last week was Safer Sleep week and Hannah Spiring, one of our Health Visitors, has put together some handy tips and guidance to support parents of young children.

As parents, doing everything you can to support safer sleep for your children is important to help reduce the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death (SIDs). 

Thankfully, the rate of SIDs has dropped by 81% in the UK since the Back to Sleep campaign in 1991. The rate remains low; in 2019 the rate was 0.28 deaths per 1,000 births in the UK, that equates to around four deaths per week. The rate continues to be low because people are following the Safer Sleep advice. 

For more information about the statistics surrounding SIDs, click the link below. 

Find out more

The Lullaby Trust, BASIS (Baby and Infant Sleep Advice) and UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative all provide evidence-based information for parents and carers on how to reduce the risk of SIDs.

Top tips for Safer Sleep for your baby

The key message is making sure that baby has a safe sleep space. This needs to be on a flat surface, with no pillows or heavy bedding, no toys or accessories, just a light blanket or sleeping bag.

Babies should always be placed on their back to sleep, kept in a smoke-free environment, sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first six months, and be on a firm, flat waterproof mattress that is in good condition.

Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or chair, don’t share the bed with them if you or your partner smoke, drink, take drugs or medication that makes you drowsy, or if baby was premature or had a low birth weight. Be careful to make sure baby doesn’t get too hot – they don’t need a hat indoors. Don’t cover their head or face whilst they sleep with loose bedding. Don’t sleep your baby on a pod, nest, or pillow, they shouldn’t have anything soft around their head whilst sleeping. Remember to keep the temperature of the room around 16-20 oC.

Watch this useful video from The Lullaby Trust here.

With warmer weather on the horizon, watch this video to help you to keep your baby cool. 

Further information about Safer Sleep can be found on Lullaby Trust websiteBASIS website, and UNICEF BFI website.

For more advice speak to your Health Visitor or contact the Health Visiting SPA team.