Around 200 babies die suddenly from SIDS, or cot death, in the UK every single year, and so we think it's an important discussion to be had. Although these figures may sound alarming, SIDS is rare and uncommon, and the chances of your little one dying are extremely low.
The exact cause of SIDS is unexplained, we don't know the exact cause of it, however there are things that you can do to reduce your risks.
Place your baby on their back
ALWAYS make sure that you place your baby on their back facing up when you put them down to sleep. You should never place them on their side or tummy. Once they are old enough to roll themselves over at night (which is usually at about 6 months) you don't need to worry about how their sleeping position changes overnight.
Keep their head uncovered
To stop your little one from being covered by their blanket or bedding at night, you should try to always put them in "feet to foot" position, which basically means that their feet are at the end of their Moses basket, crib or cot with plenty of space around their head and no pillow or toys. Tuck their blanket firmly under their arms so that the risk of them pulling it up over the heads is as low as possible.
This is important as babies lose a lot of excess heat through their heads at night, and so this prevents overheating. It also reduces any risk of them suffocating themselves on their blanket or pillow.
Use a thin layer
You should try to avoid using duvets or thick blankets for your baby in their first few months for the same reason as above. Instead, use a thin, breathable layer on top, and you can fold it over or double up if it's a cool night. Layer up on your little one's clothes instead of adding a thick blanket - this way theres no chance of suffocation.
Our cellular blankets are perfect for your little one at night.
Not too hot or too cold
Just like Goldilocks your baby is at risk from under or overheating. As a general rule, they wear one more layer than you at night, usually a bodysuit and pyjamas on top, or just the bodysuit when it's warm. If they feel hot to the touch or are sweating, it's important that you remove a layer of clothing or blanket. Don't worry if their hands or feet feel a little cold as that's normal at night.
Remove extra layers (hats, gloves, coats etc) when you come inside from the cold if your little one has fallen asleep.
DON'T share a bed
The safest place for your baby to be in their first few months is in a Moses basket or cot next to your bed. This way you can hear and be alert to any changes that might need your attention in the night.
Sharing a bed with babies has been linked to SIDS and can increase their risk of suffocating between you and/or a wall, or being hurt if they fall from the bed. It's especially important not to share beds if you or your partner smoke, have consumed alcohol, or have taken medication that increases drowsiness.
Although it may be sweet to cuddle up with your little one and fall asleep with them at nap time, you should never sleep on a sofa or chair with your baby as this has been tied to SIDS. Instead, place them in their cot or Moses basket before you fall asleep too.
Smoke free home
Being exposed to smoke is unhealthy for anyone, and can be linked to SIDS. It's important that you try to avoid smoking in the house, or ask guests to smoke outside so that your house is a safe environment for your little one.
Trust your instincts when it comes to your little one's health. You know them better than anyone, so if you're unsure about if they are seriously ill then you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.