Safe sleep guidelines for newborn babies
At Love To Dream™, we understand the importance of creating a safe sleep routine that will last for years to come. From information on our award-winning Swaddle-Up™ to how safe sleep reduces the risk of SIDS, find our expert tips on safe sleeping for babies below.
What is considered safe sleep for babies?
Creating a safe sleep routine for your baby is crucial. Safe sleep is putting your baby to sleep on their back with the face and head uncovered. They must sleep on a clean and flat mattress that is the correct size for the cot/bassinet.
You must always remove toys, loose objects, and blankets from the cot/bassinet before sleep.
What does a safe sleep environment look like?
A safe sleeping environment is where all potential dangers have been removed and your baby is sleeping in the same room as you for the first six to 12 months.
Key safe sleeping guidelines include:
A flat, clean mattress that fits the cot.
A tightly fitted sheet that fits the cot.
A cot free of loose objects, blankets, and toys.
You can learn more about what a safe sleep environment looks like here.
What are unsafe sleeping arrangements?
You must follow safe sleep guidelines when putting your child to sleep. The below actions must be avoided, as they will put your child at an increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome):
Putting your child to sleep on their tummy or side.
Putting your child to sleep on a soft mattress or a mattress that does not fit the cot/bassinet correctly.
Putting your child to sleep on a sofa or bunk bed.
Allowing your child to become too hot or too cold during sleep.
Putting your child to sleep in a separate room to you during the first six-12 months.
If you/a family member/partner smoke or smoked during pregnancy.
What are the common risks that impact safe baby sleep?
From the use of excess blankets to a cot that does not meet current safety standards, find common risks that can impact safe baby sleep below:
Excess blankets, loose objects, and toys can be a suffocation hazard.
An unsafe cot/bassinet that does not meet current safety standards.
Hot drinks/food left near the cot.
Pets left unsupervised around your child.
Loose cords near your child’s sleep space such as curtains, blinds, wires, or electrical cords.
How does safe sleep reduce SIDS?
Safe sleep is fundamental in reducing the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
According to Lullaby Trust, SIDS is ‘The sudden and unexpected death of a baby is usually referred to by professionals as ‘sudden unexpected death in infancy’ (SUDI) or ‘sudden unexpected death in childhood’ (SUDC), if the baby was over 12 months old. The death of a baby which is unexpected is also sometimes referred to as ‘sudden infant death’.
Safe sleep guidelines
You must follow safe sleep guidelines. From choosing the right sleep garment to swaddling, follow the below steps to ensure a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for your child.
1. Carry out a thorough safety check before sleep
Always put your baby to sleep on a flat, firm, and clean mattress with a tight fitted sheet that is the correct size for their cot/bassinet. Never use pillows, mattress padding, heated blankets, or excess blankets.
Remove any loose items, toys, and blankets from the cot before sleep. Your baby should always be put to sleep on their back. Once your child can roll over (at approximately four to six months), put your baby to sleep on their back, then allow them to find a comfortable sleeping position of their own.
2. Maintain a safe room temperature
Monitoring the room temperature will ensure your child is comfortable and safe during sleep. You can check your child’s temperature by touching their back or tummy which should feel warm.
The right sleepwear is also crucial to maintaining a safe temperature. To make it easier for parents and caregivers to find the right sleepwear depending on the season, we’ve created a handy Clothing Guide. If concerned about your child’s temperature, please contact a medical expert.
3. Create a hazard-free space
Always ensure there are no hanging cords or appliances, such as curtains, blinds, and electricals, within reach of your child’s cot/bassinet. Your child’s cot/bassinet should also be free of choking hazards such as loose objects, toys, and blankets.
4. Sleep in the same room as your child
The Lullaby Trust strongly recommends sleeping in the same room as your child for at least the first 6 months. This will reduce the risk of SIDS. You can use a cot or bassinet and place it beside your bed for feeding and safe monitoring throughout the night.
5. Choose the right sleeping garment
Our award-winning Swaddle-Up™ can be used from birth and is designed to encourage your little one to sleep in a more natural arms-up™ position. Its unique wings will encourage your child to safely self-soothe and has a comfortable hip-healthy design.
Once your child starts to show signs of rolling over or pulling up onto their hands, you must stop swaddling. Our Transition Suits and Bags will move alongside them on the journey towards more independent sleep as the wings can be removed one by one.
6. Back to sleep
Always put your baby to sleep on their back. Side and tummy positions are not safe.
7. ‘Feet to foot’ position
Always place your baby in the 'feet to foot' position, with their feet at the rear end of the cot.
8. Transition away from swaddling
As soon as your baby starts to show signs of rolling or pushing up onto their hands (usually between two to six months old), you must not swaddle them. It’s now time to transition your child to an arms-free™ sleeping position.
Our Transition Suits and Bags are designed to ease your child into more independent sleep, as the wings can be removed one by one.
9. Seek expert advice
If you’re unsure about any of the above safety recommendations for newborn sleep, please contact your GP. If your baby is irritable, excessively crying, or unable to settle, it’s recommended that you seek support from a sleep health expert.
Our Love To Dream™ Swaddles are made for comfortable and safe sleep
Our award-winning sleep range includes essentials such as the famous Swaddle-Up, Transition Sleep Bags and Suits™, and sheets. Our garments are suitable for newborns, babies, toddlers, and children up to four years of age.
Our Swaddle-Up™ is loved by parents and caregivers around the world, all thanks to its unique arms-up™ design. Made to be used all year round, it’s available in a range of TOG ratings and colours. There is a dual zipper that can be zipped from the top and bottom of the garment for smooth nappy changes without waking your little one.
When your child starts to show signs of rolling over or pulling up onto their hands you must stop swaddling them. Our Transition Bags and Suits™ are designed to help your child slowly adapt to more independent sleep, as the wings can be removed one by one over time.
At Love To Dream™, we know that every child is different, and we’re committed to helping you to find the right solution for your family. With you at every step, Love To Dream™ believes today’s little dreamers are the shapers of tomorrow. For further advice from our experts, visit our Sleep Library.