As a new mum, it’s natural to feel anxious about putting your little one to bed at night. To help ease your mind, these are the basic rules of baby sleep and cot safety.
Making sure your baby’s cot is safe is an important way to ensure your little one has a good night’s sleep, as well as decreasing the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), otherwise known as cot death.
Research has shown that overheating arising from high room temperatures, excessive insulation (overwrapping) or both, is associated with an increased risk of SIDS – something that The Lullaby Trust are striving to reduce.
Top tips for safe baby sleep
By following these simple rules you can put your mind at ease and put your bub to bed without any worry or concern.
- In the first six months, The Lullaby Trust advises that babies sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you.
- Make sure your mattress is firm, with a waterproof layer, which can be wiped clean to prevent bacteria from collecting in the foam. Also ensure that the mattress is free from tears and sagging, just some of the reasons why it is advised not to buy your mattress second-hand.
- Keep your baby’s sleep space plain and simple, with no heavy bedding (including duvets and quilts), pillows or toys. They can pose a risk both baby overheating, and the risk of accidentally obstructing your baby’s breathing.
- Ensure the room temperature is approximately 16-20C, which you can monitor with a room thermometer.
- Every baby’s internal temperature is different, but one babygrow is considered the norm. Check your baby from time to time to make sure that she isn’t too hot or too cold by feeling your baby's tummy or the back of their neck (your baby’s hands and feet will usually be cooler, which is normal).
- Ensure your baby’s head is always kept uncovered by clothing or bedding, as babies lose heat from their heads. Loose bedding can risk your baby becoming too hot, or block your baby’s nose and mouth.
- Place your baby on their back in the ‘feet to foot’ position – this is where the baby’s feet are placed at the foot of the cot.