Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby where no cause is found. – The Lullaby Trust
Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of SIDS and no warning, which means that ensuring safe sleeping of your newborn is vital to reduce the risk of them suffering from SIDS. This article is going to look at 7 things you can do to help keep your sleeping newborn safe.
Place them on their back
Also known as the supine position, placing your baby on their back instead of on their front or side, can greatly reduce the risk of SIDS. If you discover that your baby has rolled over during the night, then carefully roll them back onto their back. If you wake them, don’t worry, they should soon settle down again and will get used to this sleeping position.
All mums-to-be are advised to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and taking illicit drugs whilst pregnant. The same continues in the early months of your baby’s life. If you do smoke, drink or take drugs then it is recommended to not share your bed with your baby and instead to sleep them in a cot nearby.
6 Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Well On Summer Nights
Establishing Good Sleep Habits For You and Your Baby
5 Newborn Sleep Facts Every New Parent Should Know
Common Sleep Mistakes New Parents Make
The British Department of Health now recommends new mothers to breastfeed for at least the first six months as this can greatly reduce the risk of SIDS. However, if you choose to bottle feed your baby, then it’s important to follow other pieces of advice for safe sleeping.
Think about the mattress and bedding
Your baby’s mattress should be firm, flat and waterproof. This will help to keep it dry and make it easy to clean. If you’re choosing to use a second-hand mattress, then it’s important to ensure that it’s in good condition. Avoid loose bedding where possible and opt for a baby sleep bag instead. Bulky and soft bedding can significantly increase the risk of SIDS.
No sofas or armchairs
Ensuring your baby sleeps on their back on a firm hard surface is incredibly important for their safety. And so bearing this in mind, you should never allow your baby to sleep on the sofa or in an armchair, even if they have fallen asleep on you or someone else. If you think your baby is falling asleep, then take them to their cot or Moses basket and put them down there.
Monitor their temperature
You should be checking on your newborn several times during the night and whilst they nap to ensure they are comfortable, lying in the correct position and that everything is okay. Whilst doing these checks, ensure they are not overheating. Whilst it can seem like a good idea to give them an extra layer or two, overheating whilst they’re asleep can greatly increase the risk of SIDS.
Use a room thermometer to ensure the room is somewhere between 16 and 20°C. It could take a while to adjust the room to the optimum temperature for your newborn, but it’s still important to regularly check on them.