sleeping like a baby:
creating a safe bedtime environment

mothercare advice on baby sleep safety

Making sure your baby sleeps safely at night is a worry for all new parents. Doctors don’t know why sudden infant death syndrome (also referred to as SIDS) happens but they do know that certain practices and environmental behaviours can reduce the risk.[1] SIDS is very rare, so try not to let worries affect the first few months with your child. Knowing a few basic safe sleep tips for babies will help you and baby snooze soundly.

baby sleep safety advice from mothercare


put baby to sleep on their back

When putting your child down to sleep, lay them down on their back, as this is safer than lying on their side or stomach. Babies can’t regulate heat like adults – you should also be careful that they have enough blankets to keep warm, but that there’s no danger of overheating.



There are lots of arguments for and against co-sleeping – however, NHS guidelines discourage it, as co-sleeping has been linked to SIDS. It’s hard for you to control your little one's temperature while they’re in your bed and there’s a risk of rolling over in your sleep and harming your baby.
If you want your little one as near as possible without co-sleeping, consider a bedside crib. They’re specially designed to keep your baby close by, allowing you to develop that special bond without sharing the same bed.


never sleep on the sofa

While you’re bonding with your brand new arrival, it’s nice to have a little cuddle on the sofa together – but try not to give in to the temptation to fall asleep like this. Sleeping with your baby on you raises their body temperature and leaves them at risk of overheating.


making their bed

To make your newborn’s cot as safe as possible, make sure it has a firm and well-fitted mattress. Duvets, quilts, pillows and soft toys shouldn’t be placed in the cot. It's also important to ensure that the cot is deep enough to prevent your baby from climbing out when they get older.


tucking them in

When putting your little one to bed, make sure the blankets don’t come above their shoulders. It’s important that blankets should never cover your baby's head – rather, tuck them securely under their arms or consider using a baby sleeping bag, and make sure your newborn’s feet are at the end of their crib, cot or Moses basket.

You can find out more about sudden infant death syndrome here.

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[1]. What is sudden infant death syndrome, Lullaby Trust, [Accessed May 2019]