Safer sleeping for babies

Published Friday, 18 March 2016

Healthy Bromley is raising awareness of the safest way to look after your baby when asleep.

Though it is not known why some babies die suddenly and for no apparent reason, there are sensible precautions that parents and carers can take. Experts do know that placing babies on their backs reduces the risk, whilst exposure to cigarette smoke or overheating increases the risk.

There is also an association between sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sleeping with your baby in bed, on a sofa or a chair. The message from Bromley Public Health is: though this is rare, it does make sense to observe some simple rules that are known to lessen the risk of it happening.

Things you can do…

Always place your baby on their back to sleep.
Keep your baby smoke-free during pregnancy and after birth.
Breastfeed your baby, if you can.
Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months.
Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition.

Things to avoid…

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.
Avoid letting your baby get too hot.
Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink, take drugs or are extremely tired, or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth weight.

Dr Jenny Selway Consultant in Public Health Medicine said: “Thankfully, sudden infant death syndrome is rare but we want to let as many people as possible know about the simple precautions they can take to help make it even rarer. We don’t want worrying about this to spoil those early weeks and months with your baby, but we do want you to know the current expert thinking that can help to keep your baby safe and well. That’s why we are asking everyone to pass on these important messages.” 

You can find further information on the Bromley MyLife website, and from the Lullaby Trust at


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