Should babies wear facemasks?
It is DANGEROUS for babies and toddlers to have their faces covered. There is a suffocation risk when their small airways are covered.
We understand that families may be anxious about being out in public places or travelling on public transport. Advice about face coverings for older children and adults does NOT apply to those under 5 years of age.
Does having my baby immunised increase the risk of cot death?
No. Research actually indicates that babies who have been vaccinated are at a lower risk of cot death.
I want to breastfeed my baby in my bed during the night, but I am worried about the risks of cot death. What advice can you give me?
While it’s perfectly natural to want to feed your baby in bed, it’s safest to put your baby back in their cot after feeding, and before you go to sleep. Bed-sharing increases the risk of cot death.
Is it safe for my twins to share a cot?
When twins are born, they are often placed in the same cot or crib to sleep and whilst we do not recommend this, we accept that for some small babies it is easier to settle them this way. Ideally they should sleep in separate cribs or cots in their parents’ room for the first 6 months. However, if space is an issue and you have no choice but to have them sleep in the same cot in your room, then ideally they should be slept end to end in the cot with minimum covers, rather than side by side.
My baby was born prematurely, and I’ve heard it is safer to have him sleep in his own cot in my room for the first 6 months. Does this mean 6 months from his actual birth date, or 6 months from his “due” date?
Premature babies can sometimes have additional health issues and it might be best to discuss your baby’s individual needs with your Paediatrician who will know more about your baby’s health. However, if your baby is healthy and thriving, we would suggest you follow the normal guidelines of having baby sleep in their own cot, in your room for the first 6 months from the date he was born.
Baby’s sleep environment
I don’t have room for my baby’s cot in my bedroom. What should I do?
If you don’t have room for your baby to sleep in your room, have your baby in the next room and make sure both doors are open.
Is it safe to bed-share?
For more information on our advice on bed-sharing visit our Reduce The Risks section
How is my baby supervised in a nursery environment?
Babies should always be closely supervised and not be left unattended in a separate sleep room. Checks should be made every 10-15 minutes, where the staff member will look for the rise and fall of baby’s chest and to see if their sleep position has changed.
Do I need a new mattress for each baby?
Two research studies carried out by the Scottish Cot Death Trust have shown an increased risk of cot death for babies sleeping on a mattress previously used by another baby. The risk was very small if the other baby was an older brother or sister in the same family but higher if the mattress was second-hand from another home. More research is continuing on this subject, but in the meantime the best way to avoid any potential risk is to buy a new mattress. Otherwise, make sure the used mattress is very clean, is dry and in good condition, and has only been used by a sibling in the same house. It’s also ideal to use a brand new mattress cover which is waterproof and washable, as well as your usual cotton cot bed sheet.
A lot of people use using sleeping bags for babies – What is your advice?
The infant sleeping bags can be ideal if they fit correctly. They should fit securely on babies top half (usually with buttons/poppers around the shoulders and under the arms). The things to be aware of are: Sometimes these product come with quite a varied age-range – it’s important that it fits correctly. for more information visit our Reduce the Risks section
Also, many of the sleeping bag products have tog rating like a duvet/quilt, so keep this in mind when managing baby’s temperature. This site has a handy diagram which may be helpful when choosing the right tog. (the link isn’t an endorsement of the brand/products, but it is a very useful diagram!)
The Sleeping Nest-type products seem very popular
Besides a firm, flat surface, and suitable covers (blanket, sleeping bag, etc). Babies need very little else to sleep. Our advice would be to be aware of any extra fabric/material that can be in and around babies cot. This includes, soft toys, comforters, bumpers, pillows and nests/sleep positioners.
These product are designed to attach to the side of an adult bed by removing one side of the cot – our advice is that the safest place for a baby to sleep is their own sleeping space – a cot, crib, or moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months
If you are using a baby carrier/sling is is important to be aware of the safety advice, which follows a easy acronym T.I.C.K.S – Tight, In view at all times, Close enough to kiss, Keep chin off the chest, Supported back. See this information from BabySlingSafety.co.uk.
More information on the use of slings can can found at The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Can I take my baby in an aeroplane?
Several years ago, there was a suggestion that babies might be at increased risk of sudden infant death if they had been on a long plane journey, because of the different oxygen levels in an aircraft. However, there is no evidence of a higher incidence of cot death in babies who have been travelling on planes.
I need to go on a long car journey with a newborn baby
The industry standard-advice when it comes to car seats is two hours. However, we would encourage regular break from the car seat for younger babies. For young children, a seated position (like in car seats and baby bouncer chairs isn’t ideal for sleep. Look out for babies head/chin dropping down to their chest.