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what your baby may experience in the hours, days and weeks after birth

Cot Death or SIDS

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Although Cot Death or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is very rare these days, sadly there are around 300 recorded each year in the UK.

About 90 % of cot deaths happen in the first 6 months of a baby’s life.  Noone knows exactly why these deaths occur, but there are some simple rules that you can follow to reduce the risk of your baby being affected.

  • Put your baby on its back in its cot or moses basket.
  • Keep the baby in your room for the first 6 months.
  • Do not smoke during pregnancy.
  • Do not smoke near the baby after he or she has been born.  And do not let others smoke near the baby.
  • Do not let your baby overheat.  Your baby’s room should ideally be between 16-20 degrees.  You should not put the cot near a radiator or in direct sunlight.  You should not let your baby wear a hat in the cot or indeed anywhere in the house.
  • Lay the baby with her feet at the bottom of the cot so she cannot wriggle down under the covers.  If you are using a sleeping bag make sure her head cannot pass down through the opening.
  • Try not to fall asleep whilst breastfeeding, or with the baby on the sofa.  If you feel yourself drifting off, get up and put the baby in the cot.
  • Breastfeed if you can.  There is a lower incidence of cot death in breastfed babies.
  • If you do decide to let the baby sleep in the bed with you then you must make sure that both you and your partner
  1. Do not smoke at all during the day.
  2. Do not drink alcohol.
  3. Are not over-tired.
  4. Taking medication that can make you drowsy.

  • There is some evidence that suggests using a dummy can help reduce cot death risks.

For more information on SIDS or Cot Death, sign up for our  Postnatal Classes where you will find a great download full of tips for Safer Sleeping.

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