So this week 13-19th March 2017 is Safer sleep week run by The Lullaby Trust. The aim is to raise awareness among new and expectant parents of safe sleep practices that can reduce the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Professionals can get involved in safer sleep week by promoting it on social media using the hashtag #SaferSleepWeek.
On average 4 babies a week die unexpectedly in the UK without cause, the lullaby trust who first started the back to bed campaign in 1991 has seen a reduction in SIDS of 85%. However more work needs to be done in order to reduce this further, midwives and health visitors offer advice and guidance to parents in the antenatal period and beyond. In the East Midlands alone between 2005-14 SIDS claimed the lives of approximately 225 babies.
So what can we do to prevent SIDS? Well the messages are
- Always place your baby on their back to sleep
- Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
- Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
- Breastfeed your baby
- Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition
- Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
- Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight
- Avoid letting your baby get too hot
- Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding
If you prefer to look visually then you can watch the video below
It is important for parents to also remember the recommendations around safe sleep during the day and the night to protect their baby from SIDS.
For further information follow the #SaferSleepWeek on social media or visit the lullaby trust website.