What is safe sleeping for babies?
Babies need to sleep a lot and it is important to make sure that, when they are placed for sleep, parents and carers do so in the safest way possible. Research has shown that unsafe sleeping positions and unsafe sleeping environments are two factors commonly associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), sometimes referred to as ‘Cot Death’.
Babies can die die of SIDS at any time of the day or night. This means safe sleeping is as important for daytime naps as it is for nighttime sleeps.
What are safe and unsafe sleeping positions?
There is a lot of evidence to show that placing a baby on their back to sleep significantly reduces the risk of SIDS. The same evidence shows that placing a baby on their front or side to sleep significantly increases the risk. Incidences of SIDS have fallen significantly since parents have been advised to place their babies on their backs to sleep.
Therefore, practitioners in Southampton should always advise parents to place their baby to sleep on their back, whether for a longer sleep or a short nap (unless medical advice instructs differently). If a parent notices that their baby has rolled onto their front or side, they should gently return them to their back. Once the baby gains the ability to roll from front to back by themselves, they can be left to find their own sleeping positions.