Public Health news: Safe Sleeping

December 2022

Safe Sleeping

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) - sometimes known as "cot death" - is the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby.

In these difficult times when the cost of living is so high and energy bills are rising, please remember if you sleep with your baby they can potentially over heat or suffocate and these are known to be a contributory factors to cot death. Babies cannot regulate their body temperature until they are approximately 12 weeks old and can't cool themselves down. Sleeping with your baby is one of the biggest risks in cot death.

There are things we can do, and things to avoid,  to help reduce the risks:


  • always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • place your baby in the "feet to foot" position - with their feet touching the end of the cot, Moses basket, or pram
  • keep your baby's head uncovered - their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders
  • let your baby sleep in a cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
  • use a mattress that's firm, flat, waterproof and in good condition
  • make sure you use a sling or baby-carrier safely


  • smoke during pregnancy or let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby - both before and after birth
  • sleep on a bed, sofa or armchair with your baby
  • share a bed with your baby if you or your partner smoke or take drugs, have recently drunk alcohol or if your baby was born prematurely or weighed under 2.5kg when they were born
  • let your baby get too hot or too cold - a room temperature of 16C to 20C, with light bedding or a lightweight baby sleeping bag, will provide a comfortable sleeping environment for your baby

Always seek medical advice if your baby is unwell.

For more information please contact your Health Visitor on 0191 2831508 or visit: