Reducing the Risk of Cot Death

Reduce risk of cot deathRemember:

  • Place your baby on its back to sleep in a cot, in a room with you

    Try to do this from the very beginning as all the evidence says that when babies sleep on their backs they are less likely to have a cot death, babies who sleep on their tummies of their sides have an increased risk.

    The safest place for your baby is to sleep in the same room as you for the first six months. Try not to let your baby sleep in a car seat for long periods. You can put your baby on its tummy to play which will help prevent them getting a flat head and help with their development! We call this ‘tummy time’. Back to sleep. Front to play
     
  • Don’t smoke while you are pregnant or let anyone smoke around you

    Smoking in pregnancy greatly increases the risk of cot death

    Babies exposed to cigarette smoke after birth also have an increased risk of cot death. Don’t let anyone smoke in your home, ask them to go outside. Make your home a no-smoking zone
     
  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby, especially if you have been drinking alcohol, taking drugs or smoking.

    There is a risk that you might roll over onto your baby while you are asleep, or that your baby could get caught between the wall and the bed, or roll out of the bed and be hurt.
     
  • Don’t fall to sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.

    No matter how tired you feel. It’s a lovely place to have a cuddle or a feed but it’s safest to put your baby back
     
  • Don’t lay your baby down to sleep on the sofa.

    It increases the risk of cot death and your baby might fall off!
     
  • Don’t let your baby get too hot

    Letting your baby get too hot can increase the risk of cot death. Babies can get too hot because of too much clothing, bedding or the room is too warm. Keep your baby’s head uncovered and don’t use duvets, pillows or cot bumpers. Babies don’t need hot rooms and should never sleep next to a radiator or heater.
     
  • Put your baby at the bottom of the cot to sleep - this is called Feet to Foot.

    This stops your baby from wriggling under the covers and getting too hot.
Remember cot death is very rare, so don’t let worrying about it stop you enjoying your baby’s first few months. Just follow the advice to reduce your risk.

Links & Downloads

News & Top Tips

Flu Vaccines Why get the vaccine? The flu jab will protect both you and your baby. When you are pregnant...