Safer Sleep for Babies

Reducing the risk

It is not yet known how to completely prevent sudden infant deaths (sometimes called cot death) but you can significantly reduce the risk by following this advice while your baby is asleep:

  Always place your baby on their back to sleep, with their feet at the foot of the cot

  Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months, even during the day

  Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth.  For help and advice contact 

  Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress that is clean and in good condition, or a baby sleep bag of the correct size for the weight of your baby

  Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby 

 Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding

  Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink, take drugs or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth weight

  Avoid letting your baby get too hot

You should follow the advice at all sleep times, not just at night.

Co-Sleeping & SIDS Guide

Unicef’s baby friendly initiative offers a range of information on co-sleeping and SIDS.

Click on Unicef's Infographic below, which provides facts and figures in an accessible guide


For further advice visit: 

Call: 0808 802 6869

Easy Read Card by the Southend, Essex & Thurrock Safeguarding Children Boards with The Lullaby Trust.

Safer Sleep – a guide for parents

Baby check – is your baby really ill?

The ABCs of Safer Sleep (poster 1)

The ABCs of Safer Sleep (poster 2)

Sofa Sharing poster

8 Top tips for keeping your sleeping baby safe by the Safeguarding Children e-academy

Download guidance on Caring for your baby at night, to provide practical advice on getting some rest, night feeding, safe sleeping environments and helping a baby settle.