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Safer Sleep Week and the Lullaby Trust

Newborn safe sleep

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This week is The Lullaby Trust’s Safer Sleep Week – a national awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby. The Lullaby Trust is a brilliant resource for newborns. The website provides a huge amount of information on safe sleeping, so it’s a great place to begin looking at safe sleeping practices.

Here we have listed key advice from the Lullaby Trust about how to make sure your little one sleeps safely.

Back to sleep

The Lullaby Trust recommend that babies should be put down to sleep, at night and for naps, on their backs. The risk of SIDS is higher for babies who sleep on their side or tummy. Once your little one can confidently roll from their back to front and front to back, they will be able to find their comfortable sleeping position.

Sleeping in the cot

The safest place for a baby to sleep is a separate cot, crib or Moses basket, in the same room as their parents. This is recommended for the first six months of their lives. The Lullaby Trust recommend using a firm, flat, waterproof mattress for little ones to sleep on. They do not recommend Pods/Sleepyheads, as these can cause babies to overheat.

If you do want to co-sleep with your little one, head over to The Lullaby Trust website about how to do this safely.

A clear cot

Babies are at higher risk of SIDS if they have their heads covered. It is safest to keep the baby’s cot clear of any items such as bumpers, toys and loose bedding. Unnecessary items in a baby’s cot can also increase the risk of accidents.

Dummies

The Lullaby Trust recommend dummies in the early months. The reason for this is that they can reduce the risk of SIDS if they are used consistently for all sleep. Once your baby gets to six months, however, they are likely to turn into a sleep prop. Make sure you don’t use a neck cord or attachment with the dummy.

Although dummies have been found to reduce the chance of SIDS, the effect is not as large as other safer sleep measures. While it is good to use a dummy if a baby likes it, if a parent is worried about consistency and decides not to use one it won’t increase the risk. To see the Lullaby Trust’s factsheet on dummies Click here

Room temperature

It is important to make sure that the room your baby is sleeping in is at a comfortable temperature. The chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot. Try to keep the room temperature between 16 -20°C. You can use a room thermometer in the bedroom your little one sleeps in. They will also need to be wearing the right number of layers under light bedding or a lightweight sleeping bag.

Every baby is different so do check your little one. The best way to do this is to feel your baby’s chest or the back of their neck. Your baby’s hands and feet will usually be cooler, which is normal. If their skin feels hot or sweaty, remove one or more layers of bedclothes or bedding. If you are looking for any further advice or information, head to The Lullaby Trust website.

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