This week is The Lullaby Trust’s Safer Sleep Week, a campaign that aims to improve awareness about safer sleep and reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
SIDS, often referred to as cot death, is the sudden and unexplained death of a healthy baby. Most deaths occur during the first six months of a baby’s life, and it usually happens when a baby is asleep.
SIDS is something I have been aware of for a very long time, but the reality of the syndrome didn’t hit me until earlier this week. I was invited to a coffee morning at my local childrens centre, hosted by a lady from The Lullaby Trust who lost her baby to SIDS. Hearing her story really reminded me that this can happen to anyone, and it’s so important that we’re all aware of the simple things we can do to reduce the risk.
Here are just a few of the recommendations to ensure safe sleep:
- Always place baby on their back to sleep, and in the feet-to-foot position.
- Place your baby in a seperate cot or crib in the same room as you for the first 6 months.
- Don’t sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby.
- Ensure room temperature is at a constant 16-20°C.
- Tuck in sheets and blankets, and avoid using quilts and duvets.
- Keep the cot as clear as possible – no toys or bumpers.
- Avoid smoking, both during pregnancy and after the birth.
More information can be found on the Lullaby Trusts website – http://www.lullabytrust.org.uk