baby in a sleepsack

Safer Sleep Week is The Lullaby Trust’s national awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby. It aims to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) also known as ‘cot death’ and the safer sleep advice that reduces the risk of it occurring.

Safer Sleep Week is The Lullaby Trust’s national awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby. It aims to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) also known as ‘cot death’ and the safer sleep advice that reduces the risk of it occurring.

For Safer Sleep Week this year we are focussing on the digital world. Social media plays a huge role in parenting nowadays, with mums, dads and anyone looking after a baby going onto Instagram for tips and hacks.

Unfortunately, there are lots of images and tips online which could potentially increase the risk of SIDS occurring. Pictures of cots filled with cot bumpers, fluffy blankets and cuddly toys might be nice to look at, but in reality, aren’t the safest place for babies to sleep in. It is vitally important that parents are aware of advice on how to sleep their baby safely.

What is SIDS?

SIDS is when a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly and no cause of death is found. SIDS currently claims the lives of 230 babies every year in the UK. That’s around 4 babies each week.

How to reduce the risk of SIDS:

Things to do:

  • 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 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

Things to avoid:

  • 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 on medication that make you drowsy, or 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
  • Don't sleep your baby on a pod or nest or give them a pillow
  • Babies should not have anything soft around their heads while sleeping

Things to do:

  • 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 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

Things to avoid:

  • 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 on medication that make you drowsy, or 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
  • Don't sleep your baby on a pod or nest or give them a pillow
  • Babies should not have anything soft around their heads while sleeping

Our theme for Safer Sleep 2022 is ‘Instagram vs. Reality’, focusing on the importance of having a clear, safe sleep space for baby and taking the pressure off of parents who may come across ‘over-styled’ images of parenthood on their social media feeds. This year we are saying #letskeepitclear, and reminding everyone of our simple and easy to follow safer sleep advice.

All a baby needs is a firm, flat sleep space that is clear of toys, bulky bedding and accessories and a simple blanket or baby sleep bag. We want to promote this message on social media and reach as many people who look after a baby as possible, to make them aware that some of the images of baby sleep spaces aren’t always the safest. If all parents were aware of safer sleep advice many lives could be saved.

#letskeepitclear

You can find more information and FREE Safer Sleep Week resources on The Lullaby Trust website https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/get-involved-with-safer-sleep-week/

During Safer Sleep Week, Jenny Ward, The Lullaby Trust Chief Exec, will be doing an Insta Live with @Halosleep_eu. Do join at 1pm on 17 March 2022.