Safe Sleeping for Babies: How to Ensure Your Little One Sleeps Soundly and Safely

What is the best way to put your baby to bed to ensure they sleep safely through the night?

We have come a long way in reducing the instances of both SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and SUDI (sudden unexplained death in infants), and the best way to keep your baby safe is to follow Safe Sleeping Guidelines for every sleep.

These are just some of the steps recommended by The Lullaby Trust:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep. This reduces the risk of suffocation, overheating and choking. Position your baby so they are lying on their back with their feet at the bottom of the bassinet or cot.
  • Keep your baby's face and head uncovered. This lets your baby regulate their temperature and prevents overheating.
  • Keep your baby smoke-free, before and after birth. Don't smoke around your baby, and never smoke where your baby sleeps.
  • Provide a safe sleeping environment, night and day. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in their own space, with a safe mattress and safe bedding. Keep toys, comforters, and pillows out of the cot until your baby is at least 12 months old.

Your little one needs a safe space to sleep. Although they may take some naps in a pram, car, or wearable carrier, it's best for them to have most of their sleeps in their cot, bassinet or bed.

To ensure the sleep space is safe:

  • Use a new cot and mattress that meet your local safety standards. You can visit The Lullaby Trust's website for the latest UK safety standards.
  • Use layers of bedding made of lightweight, breathable, natural fabrics such as muslin, cotton, bamboo or linen.
  • Ensure your little one's head is not covered when they are sleeping.
  • Use age-appropriate sleepwear, including sleep bags, made of lightweight, breathable fabric. Little ones should not wear any hats, hoods, or head-coverings to bed.
  • Remove all toys and pillows from the cot until your baby is at least 12 months old.
  • Little ones should be not too hot, not too cold overnight.
  • The ideal room temperature of 18-22°C (64-71°F) for the best sleep overnight, and indoor humidity should be kept between 40%-60% to promote deeper, easier breathing.

The Lullaby Trust provides helpful resources to ensure your baby sleeps safely, including an online Safer Sleep for Babies guide and a Safe Sleep app. Remember, following safe sleep guidelines can help reduce the risk of SIDS and SUDI, providing peace of mind for parents and a safe sleeping environment for babies.

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