Safe sleeping environment for babies
Advice for parents to reduce the risk of cot death
This is the recommended safe sleeping environment for a baby up to 6 months old:
- Cut smoking in pregnancy – fathers too! And don’t let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby.
- Place your baby on the back to sleep (and not on the front or side).
- Do not let your baby get too hot, and keep your baby’s head uncovered.
- Place your baby with their feet to the foot of the cot, to prevent them wriggling down under the covers.
- Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
- The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib or cot in a room with you for the first six months.
- It’s especially dangerous for your baby to sleep in your bed if you (or your partner): are a smoker, even if you never smoke in bed or at home, have been drinking alcohol, take medication or drugs that make you drowsy, feel very tired; or if your baby: was born before 37 weeks, weighed less than 2.5kg or 5½ lbs at birth, is less than three months old.
- Don’t forget, accidents can happen: you might roll over in your sleep and suffocate your baby; or your baby could get caught between the wall and the bed, or could roll out of an adult bed and be injured.
- Settling your baby to sleep (day and night) with a dummy can reduce the risk of cot death, even if the dummy falls out while your baby is asleep.
- Breastfeed your baby. Establish breastfeeding before starting to use a dummy.