Sleep Awareness Week - Create a safer sleeping environment for your baby

This week is Sleep Awareness week, a cot-death awareness campaign which aims to help prevent SIDS. Thanks to the work of organisations like Lullaby Trust heading up campaigns such as this, much greater awareness and help is available about what to do to help your little one sleep safely. Sleep awareness week aims to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and offer advice to help reduce the risk of it occurring.

The Little Green Sheep Safe Sleep

What is SIDS? It stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and it’s the sudden unexpected death of a baby which is unexplained, usually during sleep.

While SIDS is rare, it can still happen and there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of it happening to your family.

This sleep awareness week we want to help equip parents with the knowledge and tips to help them rest easy knowing their little one is in a safer sleeping environment.

Some of the key things to remember are:

  • Make sure they sleep on their back

Sleep baby on their back from birth, not on their tummy or side. Placing your baby on their back when they are sleeping (known as the supine position) every night is one of the most protective actions you can take to help ensure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible. It is well noted that the chance of SIDS is particularly high for babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side.

 

  • Sleep baby with head and face uncovered

A clear cot is a safe cot. Babies are at higher risk of SIDS if they have their head or face covered. For this reason we recommend it is safest to keep baby’s cot clear of any items such as bumpers, toys and loose bedding. Any accessories, comforters or unnecessary baby items in a baby’s sleeping environment can increase the risk of accidents. Removing blankets from cots or cribs and using a well fitted sleeping bag or Cocoon swaddle instead, can help keep baby's head and face uncovered.

 Safe Sleep

 

  • Keep a safe temperature

The environment your baby is sleeping in is also important to helping reduce accidents. Keeping your little ones room at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold, will help to keep them safe. The chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot, it’s best to try to keep the room temperature between 16-20°C

 

  • Choose the right mattress

Choosing the right mattress is also vital to a safe nights sleep. Whilst we emphasise how important is is to keep where the baby is sleeping safe, what they are actually sleeping on is just as important. Soft mattresses are known to increase the risk of SIDS. They make it harder for babies to lose body heat, which can cause them to become too hot. Therefore, it is important the mattress is firm, flat and waterproof, with no soft or cushioned areas, particularly around baby’s head.

 

  • Provide a safe sleep environment night + day

Studies have found that sleeping with your little one on a sofa or armchair is one of the most high-risk situations for them. Whilst we all love a cuddle on the sofa with our babies, it is important not to fall asleep in this position. One study found that approximately one-sixth of infants in England and Wales who died of SIDS were found sleeping with an adult on a sofa. To avoid this high risk situation, don’t cuddle or get cosy if you are feeling extremely tired and sleepy. For those day  time baby naps, choose a portable sleeping space (moses basket / travel cot) so they can sleep in the same room as you but in their own space day and night.

 

  • Sleep baby in their own space

It is advised to put your little one to sleep in their own safe sleeping space but in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to 12 months. A large study of evidence from across Europe found that the risk of sudden infant death was significantly reduced when the infant slept in the same room, but not the same bed, as the parents. The safest place for your baby to sleep for at least the first 6 months is in a separate cot or moses basket in the same room as you. 

Sleep Awareness Week - Create a safer sleeping environment for your baby

Safe sleep products

Along with these essential tips, it is also helpful to know what products to choose to reduce the chance of SIDS. We believe for safer sleep you don’t need to buy lots of products or spend money on expensive items promising a better night’s sleep for all. Keep it simple, keep it safe. Keep reading to discover our top 5 products.

 

SNUZ

As previously mentioned, we recommend the safest sleeping environment for your little one is in their own separate independent sleeping space but in the same room as you. For this reason we love the SnüzPod3. The SnüzPod3 is the bedside crib that attaches to your bed allowing you to care for your little one and keep them as close as possible during the night, but ensuring they still remain in their own independent bed for safer sleep.

It also has a lightweight lift-off bassinet so there is no need for a separate moses basket, ideal to take into other rooms with you for those day time baby naps. When it's time to make the transition from bedroom to nursery, SnüzPod3 can be easily detached from your bed and used as a stand-alone crib with a rockable stand that helps soothe baby to sleep. With all these amazing features, it’s no wonder the SnüzPod3 won the prestigious Queens Award for innovation.

SNUZPOD3

SNUZ

 

Sleeping bags

For safer sleep we highly recommend using baby sleeping bags. The design of baby sleeping bags prevent your baby’s head from being covered under bedding as they move and wriggle through the night. Sleeping bags eliminate the problem of your baby or toddler kicking off their covers and becoming cold during the night.

And you won’t need any extra bedding or blankets. Simply place your baby in their sleeping bag, with just a fitted sheet underneath and they will be ready for a safe nights sleep. Although your baby's arms remain outside of the sleeping bag, their core body temperature will be maintained at the optimum level to ensure a restful night’s sleep. In colder temperatures add extra layers underneath to make sure they stay cosy.

Sleep Awareness Week - Create a safer sleeping environment for your baby

 

Merino Kids

Merino Kids are unbeatable when it comes to safe sleep clothing. They are an award winning, natural sleepwear and clothing company who specialise in Merino wool. Merino wool is a powerhouse natural fiber with a huge range of high-performance benefits which is super soft and luxuriously gentle on the skin. The benefits of this material go a long way in creating a safer sleeping environment for your little one, it has the ability to regulate temperature protecting your baby from extremes because it keeps them warm when it's cold, and cool when it’s hot.

All Merino Kids clothing is super soft and will not cause skin irritation, even in babies with eczema or those with skin conditions. Medical studies have proven that merino improves the sleep patterns of babies and infants. At the Cambridge Maternity Hospital in 1979, Scott and Richards revealed that babies sleeping on merino settled more quickly, cried less, fed better and gained weight faster. We can’t get enough!

Merino Kids

 

Little Green Sheep Mattress

Choosing the right mattress will help to keep your baby cosy and comfortable overnight, as well as ensuring a safe night’s sleep. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to know which mattress to choose. We personally rely on The Little Green Sheep to create the highest quality organic mattresses and bedding for babies and children. We recommend their Natural Twist Mattress, not only is it free from toxins, it also grows with your child because of it’s double sided feature. One side offers a firm surface for the optimal support for baby up to 12 months, as recommended by safe sleep experts. Then when your little one grows, you can simply twist the mattress for a more supple, comfy and durable support that will last for years to come.

This mattress also offers the perfect sleeping environment which is free from toxins and chemicals using only natural ingredients. It is made from a combination of cotton, coconut, latex and wool.

A waterproof mattress protector is required with this mattress - we recommend using The Little Green Sheep’s breathable 100% waterproof mattress protectors to keep your mattress in the best possible condition, protecting your mattress from accidents and spillages.

The Little Green Sheep Mattress

 

Baby Monitors

Once your little one has grown and transitioned from sleeping in your room and now sleeping in their own nursery it is always reassuring to be able to keep an eye on them whilst they sleep with the use of a baby monitor. Baby sleep monitors don't just help you ensure your baby is sleeping well, they help you sleep well at night, too, knowing your baby is safe. 

Many parents feel that baby monitors are beneficial in extending their sight and hearing to keep track of their little ones, even when they are not physically in the same location as them, giving parents that added peace of mind their child is safe.

 Babymoov Baby Monitor

If you have any questions about SIDS or safer sleep, please call Lullaby Trust's information line on 0808 802 6869 (lines open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm).