Creating a safe sleeping environment for your little one is an important job, but one that can feel a little daunting and confusing. The increased awareness around SIDS from amazing organisations like Lullaby Trust has shone an important light on steps parents can take to help reduce the risks of SIDS and create a safe sleeping environment.
We want to help equip parents with the knowledge and tips to help them rest easy knowing their little one is in a safer sleeping environment.
Some of the key things to remember are:
Make sure they sleep on their backSleep baby on their back from birth, not on their tummy or side. Placing your baby on their back when they are sleeping (known as the supine position) every night is one of the most protective actions you can take to help ensure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible. It is well noted that the chance of SIDS is particularly high for babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side.
Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
A clear cot is a safe cot. Babies are at higher risk of SIDS if they have their head or face covered. For this reason we recommend it is safest to keep baby’s cot clear of any items such as bumpers, toys and loose bedding. Any accessories, comforters or unnecessary baby items in a baby’s sleeping environment can increase the risk of accidents. Removing blankets from cots or cribs and using a well fitted sleeping bag or swaddle instead, can help keep baby's head and face uncovered.
Keep a safe temperature
The environment your baby is sleeping in is also important to helping reduce accidents. Keeping your little ones room at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold, will help to keep them safe. The chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot, it’s best to try to keep the room temperature between 16-20°C
Choose the right mattress
Choosing the right mattress is also vital to a safe nights sleep. Whilst we emphasise how important it is to keep where the baby is sleeping safe, what they are actually sleeping on is just as important. Soft mattresses are known to increase the risk of SIDS. They make it harder for babies to lose body heat, which can cause them to become too hot. Therefore, it is important the mattress is firm, flat and waterproof, with no soft or cushioned areas, particularly around baby’s head.
Provide a safe sleep environment night + day
Studies have found that sleeping with your little one on a sofa or armchair is one of the most high-risk situations for them. Whilst we all love a cuddle on the sofa with our babies, it is important not to fall asleep in this position. One study found that approximately one-sixth of infants in England and Wales who died of SIDS were found sleeping with an adult on a sofa. To avoid this high risk situation, don’t cuddle or get cosy if you are feeling extremely tired and sleepy. For those day time baby naps, choose a portable sleeping space (moses basket / travel cot) so they can sleep in the same room as you but in their own space day and night.
Sleep baby in their own space
It is advised to put your little one to sleep in their own safe sleeping space but in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to 12 months. A large study of evidence from across Europe found that the risk of sudden infant death was significantly reduced when the infant slept in the same room, but not the same bed, as the parents. The safest place for your baby to sleep for at least the first 6 months is in a separate cot or moses basket in the same room as you.
Merino Kids are unbeatable when it comes to safe sleep clothing. We are an award winning, natural sleepwear and clothing company who specialise in Merino wool. Merino wool is a powerhouse natural fiber with a huge range of high-performance benefits which is super soft and luxuriously gentle on the skin. The benefits of this material go a long way in creating a safer sleeping environment for your little one, it has the ability to regulate temperature protecting your baby from extremes because it keeps them warm when it's cold, and cool when it’s hot.
All Merino Kids clothing is super soft and will not cause skin irritation, even in babies with eczema or those with skin conditions. Medical studies have proven that merino improves the sleep patterns of babies and infants. At the Cambridge Maternity Hospital in 1979, Scott and Richards revealed that babies sleeping on merino settled more quickly, cried less, fed better and gained weight faster.
If you have any questions about SIDS or safer sleep, please call Lullaby Trust's information line on 0808 802 6869 (lines open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm).