Falling asleep with baby on a sofa or armchair can be hazardous. This can be for a number of reasons. Baby could be suffocated by sliding down/roll towards the back or side of the sofa and becoming wedged or trapped.
A baby could be accidentally suffocated by another person or part of another person’s body as the surface surrounded by soft furnishings within a small space. Baby is more likely to be sleeping on their front, laying against an adult’s chest or shoulder which increases the risk of SUDI. An infant is also more likely to overheat when lying against sofa cushions and soft sofa or armchair back which is a risk for SUDI.
If an infant is propped up in the corner of a sofa or armchair for a sleep, their head is more likely to drop forward into a chin tucked down position which can challenge their breathing and lead to asphyxia.
Things to consider
“the catch 22 – I’m afraid of bed-sharing so find myself on the sofa with baby to feed. – It’s important to be aware of this. Like bed-sharing accidents occur when parents fall asleep ‘accidentally’. Think about ways in which this can be prevented.
Evidence For Never Sleeping On A Sofa Or Armchair With A Baby
Infant deaths occurring on sofas make up a large proportion of sleep-related infant deaths. Sleep position, tobacco exposure, surface sharing, and change of sleep environment.
“Given that the risk of infant death on sofas is so high, it is important for parents and caregivers to be educated about safe sleep”*