Sleep Safety Guidance

  • In the first 6 months the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot in a room with you and your partner.
  • Lay your baby down on their back to sleep
  • Lay your baby with their feet at the foot of their cot, so they can`t wriggle down under the bedding, keep their head uncovered by tucking their bedding in no higher than their shoulders. If you use a sleeping bag make sure it is well fitting, so your baby can`t slide down inside.
  • Make sure your baby`s cot conforms to British Safety Standards BSEN716. Check that yours has a label with this code on it. It means that the cot
    • Is deep enough
    • Has bars that are between 45mm (1.8in) and 65mm (2.6in) apart.
    • Does not have cut outs or steps
  • Don`t use a pillow in the cot. Your baby needs a surface that is firm.
  • Do not use cot bumpers, they pose a risk that your baby could get tangled in them, and potentially pose a risk of strangulation.
  • Remove mobiles or toys that hang over your baby’s cot. Move other furniture away from the cot to prevent your growing baby pulling themselves up and trying to climb out. Also ensure the cot isn`t next to a radiator or in direct sunlight.
  • Babies under 6 months should not have any soft toys in their cot with them
  • When not in your room with the baby, keep the drop side of their cot up and locked.
  • Don`t let your baby get too hot. Overheating is linked to an increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Keep the room your baby sleeps in at a comfortable temperature of between 16 degrees C and 20 degrees. Don’t put your baby`s cot near a radiator, heater or fire, or in direct sunlight. And never place a hot water bottle or an electric blanket in your baby`s bed.
  • Use a monitor so you can listen, or watch, your baby when you`re not in the room.
  • Never leave your baby alone in your bed. Your baby could easily fall out of your bed, even if you`ve just nipped to the loo.
  • It`s advised not to co-sleep with your baby when they`re under 6 months, but put them in a cot next to your bed.
  • Once your baby is about five months old she will learn to roll over as part of her normal development. By this time the risk of SIDS is lower, and it`s safe to let your baby find her own comfortable sleeping position. By then she can turn her face to the side when sleeping on her stomach, which keeps her mouth and nose free.
  • There may be times when it`s easier to bring your baby into your bed to comfort or feed them. But there are circumstances in which you should never co-sleep, because of the increased risk of SIDS – if you or your partner smoke, your baby was premature, or had a low birth weight, you or your partner have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medication or drugs, you are extremely tired, or have a sleep disorder, such as apnoea
  • Never sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby. After a cuddle or a feed, put them back in their cot on firm, flat mattress that is clean and fits well, without gaps at the edges. Waterbeds, beanbags, baby nests, fleeces and other soft surfaces are not suitable for your baby to sleep on. The outside of the mattress should be waterproof and covered with a single sheet.
  • Never let your baby sleep in the same bad with your toddler. Toddlers don`t understand the risks, and could roll over on to your baby, or put an arm across their mouth or head. You or your partner should always sleep between the children if you want them both in your bed.
  • Never let pets sleep in cots with babies. Cat nets are available to prevent them jumping into cribs or cots. They may pose a risk of suffocation for the infant.