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Where should baby sleep?

baby on back sleeping

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, the Department of Health and UNICEF advise that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot by your bed for the first 6 months.

You may sometimes want your baby to share your bed at night as this can make breastfeeding easier. But for your baby’s safety, you must follow these guidelines:

Don’t share your bed with your baby in the early months if:

  • she was born prematurely
  • had a low birth weight
  • has a temperature.

Don’t sleep with your baby in bed with you if you or your partner ever smoke.

Don’t share your bed with your baby if you:

  • have drunk alcohol
  • have been taking medicine which would make you sleepy
  • have taken drugs of any kind
  • you are very tired
  • are ill
  • have any condition which may make it difficult to respond to your baby.

Don’t sleep with your baby on a sofa, armchair or waterbed.

Put your newborn under sheets and blankets, not under your duvet, so that she doesn’t get too hot; don’t let her head touch the pillow.  Also:

  • Don’t cover your baby’s head.
  • Don’t dress her in a sleeping bag if she is under sheets and blankets.
  • The mattress should be firm, flat and clean.
  • Make sure your baby can’t fall out of bed or get trapped between the bed and the wall.
  • Don’t allow toddlers, children or pets to sleep in bed with the baby.
  • Your baby must not be left alone in or on the bed as even very young babies can wriggle into dangerous positions.
10th November 2009, 6:36
Page updated 5th Oct 2015, 13:25
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