A Clear Cot is a Safer Sleep Environment for Babies
14th to 20th March is Safer Sleep Week at the Lullaby Trust which is a charity that raises awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The Safer Sleep Week aims to raise awareness of choking and suffocation hazards and promote ways you can reduce the risk of SIDS. The campaign is designed to raise awareness that not all images on Instagram and Facebook are good examples of how your baby should be sleeping.
New Parents Are Influenced By Social Media Images
According to the Lullaby Trust, a recent survey found that 67% of new and expectant parents follow celebrities and influencers who have babies. Over half of these people became followers in order to pick up parenting tips and/or baby product recommendations. This is concerning because many photos on social media contain worrying sleep environments, which can then influence parenting decisions, potentially putting babies at risk.
The Most Worrying Photos Contain Strangulation or Suffocation Risks
Jenny Ward, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust warns:
‘“Many social media images of babies in worrying sleep environments have become increasingly popular.’’
The most worrying photos contain babies sleeping next to a hazard which increases the risk of SIDS.
Your Baby’s Sleep Environment Should Not Contain:
- Cot Bumpers
- Fluffy Blankets
- Cuddly Toys
- Bibs Or Clothes With Ties
7 Sleep Safety Tips For Babies
1 A Clear Cot is a Safe Cot
Babies need to be placed in a clear space such as a cot, crib or moses basket with firmly tucked-in sheets or a baby sleeping bag.
2 Babies Should Sleep On Their Back
It’s important that your baby sleeps on its back because sleeping on their stomach increases the risk of suffocation. See our article: how to get your baby to sleep on its back
3 Your Baby Should Sleep In The Same Room As You
Your baby needs to sleep in the same room as you for the first 6 months. This could be in a cot, moses basket, a crib or cot bed. Avoid sleeping on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby. If you think you might fall asleep, put the baby down in a safe place to sleep.
4 Burp Your Baby After Feeding
Winding or burping your baby is an important part of feeding. When your baby swallows, air bubbles can get trapped in their tummy. You should try to burp your baby even after their dream sleep to reduce their chances of waking up in pain.
5 Keep Baby Smoke Free During Pregnancy And After Birth
Avoid smoking, including second hand smoking while pregnant and around your baby once they are born. Over a third of SIDS deaths could be avoided if no women smoked during pregnancy.
6 Use a Flat Firm Baby Mattress
The Lullaby Trust recommends using a firm baby mattress. Like our entire mattress collection, our baby cot mattresses are made with nursery grade foam which is more supportive than memory foam. Our signature bamboo fabric is softer than cotton and it’s machine washable with a waterproof backing to protect your baby’s mattress.
7 Breastfeed your Baby
Several studies show that breastfeeding may cut SIDS risk. Experts can’t determine why breastfeeding helps, whether it is the milk, or the mother, or both. The NHS recommends breastfeeding to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Join the Campaign for Safer Sleep Imagery
The Safer Sleep Week is a campaign that asks for everyone to share examples of safe sleep images across social media. Many celebrities have joined the campaign to raise awareness of the best ways to keep babies safe. They use the hashtags #letskeepitclear and #safersleepweek.
Jenny Ward says ‘If all parents had access to this information more lives could be saved.’ Follow The Lullaby Trust on social media and share their content. Or download a poster pack
For more advice on reducing the risk of SIDS, visit https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/