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How to reduce the risk of cot death

baby asleep on back
Advice for parents to reduce the risk of cot death
  • 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, or use a Baby Sleep Bag
  • 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 is 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. 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
  • This advice is reproduced courtesy of FSID.
FREEPHONE helpline: 0808 802 6868

2nd February 2011, 18:18
Page updated 5th Oct 2015, 13:25
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