What is SIDS?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby for no obvious reason. We don’t yet know how to completely prevent SIDS. But, it is possible to lower the chances of it happening by following the advice below.
The Importance of Routine in Reducing the Risk of SIDS
It is important to keep the same sleeping routine for your baby. Keep putting them to sleep on their back for every day and night-time sleep. Babies who are usually sleep on their back but sometimes sleep on their front are at a greater risk of SIDS.
Always sleep your baby on their back in a clear cot or sleep space.
If you have a Cot or Moses Basket
Having a cot, crib, travel cot or Moses basket is the most ideal sleeping space for your baby. Babies only need a few basic items for sleep, these are:
It is best to avoid:
Travel cot mattresses are a lot thinner than a normal cot mattress. But, they are fine for a baby to sleep on. Avoid placing folded blankets or a quilt under the baby to make them ‘more comfortable’.
Place your baby on their back in the ‘feet to foot’ position. Place your baby’s feet to the bottom end of the cot or Moses basket to avoid them wriggling down under the covers. Use a thin blanket no higher than their shoulders, and firmly tucked in under the mattress.
If you do not have a cot or Moses basket, you should try and find another type of firm, flat, safe sleep surface for your baby.
Bedsharing means that baby shares the same bed with an adult for most of the night, and not only to be comforted or fed.
For safer bedsharing:
When NOT to bedshare:
Then use a safe, firm, flat space for your baby.
If you have a pram/carrycot or a buggy
Baby boxes are cardboard boxes designed for babies to sleep in.
If your baby uses a baby box, here’s some advice on how to use it safely:
If you have a car seat, do not let your baby stay in it for long. This is particularly important for premature or young babies. Car seats are designed to keep babies safe while travelling, not as a main sleeping place. Your baby should be taken out as soon as you get to your destination, and placed onto a firm, flat surface to sleep.
If you need baby items, you can get help from a baby bank. A baby bank is like a food bank but for baby essentials and are for families who need help. They provide pre-owned items for newborns to 5-year-olds donated from the local community. These products include sleeping products such as cots, travel cots and Moses baskets.
If you are in contact with any professionals ask them to refer you to a baby bank. You can also contact your local baby bank directly and you may be able to self-refer.
Speak to your accommodation provider or support worker if you have any questions. Your midwife or health visitor can give you specialist advice.
Health visitors are specialist midwives or nurses who have extra training. They work with all families with children aged 0-5 and offer more support to those who need it the most.
Send an enquiry to our friendly Healthy Sandwell team.