Parents and carers

Safer sleeping


Where is the safest place for your baby to sleep?

The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib or cot in a room with you for the first six months.

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) has identified key risk factors associated with co-sleeping if you are a parent or carer who:

  • is a smoker, even if they never smoke in bed or in the home;
  • has been drinking alcohol;
  • has taken medication or drugs that make them drowsy; or
  • feels very tired;

or if your baby:

  • was low birth weight (less than 2.5kgs or 5 ½ lbs); or
  • was premature (born before 37 weeks gestation).

(Co-sleeping describes a baby sharing their parent’s bed, or sleeping with a parent on a sofa or chair. A parent represents anyone caring for the baby.)

FSID has stated that parents and carers should be advised never to sleep with a baby on a sofa or in an armchair.

Don’t forget, accidents can happen too:

You might roll over in your sleep and suffocate your baby, or your baby could get caught between the wall and the bed, or could roll out of your bed and be injured.


Where can I find out further information?

Safer sleeping

The Lullaby Trust safer sleep advice gives simple steps for how you can sleep your baby to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which is commonly known as cot death. Their website is full of helpful tips and advice for all sleep periods not just at night, this advice can be found on the Lullaby Trust's safer sleeping page. Alternatively you can watch the safer sleep for babies video.

Baby checks

The Lullaby Trust Baby Check will help a parent/carer decide whether a baby needs a doctor. It contains 19 simple checks which test for different symptoms or signs of illness. Each check has a score, when added together the higher the score the sicker the baby is likely to be.

Baby check app

Baby check booklet

The Lullaby Trust information line is open Monday to Friday 10 am to 5pm, telephone 0808 8026869.


Bereavement support and safer sleeping

The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and raises awareness on sudden infant death. They run an information line for parents and professionals (0808 802 6869) and a dedicated line for bereaved families (0808 802 6868). Both are free to call from landlines and mobiles.

Lullaby Trust (external website)