Sleep is a really important for your baby’s growth and development. It takes a while to understand a new baby's sleep pattern and this is different for all babies. Establishing sleep patterns in the first few months will help your baby settle and self soothe.
Getting into sleep routines can be difficult when you have a new baby or are tired yourself. Sometimes the easiest options about where and how your baby falls asleep can put them at risk.
By remembering some simple guidelines, there are things you can do to keep your baby safe while they are sleeping. This will reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death.
Safer Sleep Videos
Safer sleep guidelines are really important to help keep your baby safe. If you’re away from home or out of routine, make sure you plan ahead for your babies’ sleeping arrangements. Don’t take risks, and never share a bed with your baby if you’ve had any alcohol, drugs or medication.
Safer Sleep Awareness - Safe Co-Sleeping
Ideally babies should always sleep in their own cot, crib or pram. Some families will choose to co-sleep with their babies. Co-sleeping is sharing a bed with a baby as they sleep.
Friends and family may tell you they put their baby to sleep in different position. We now know for sure this is not safe and you should not do it unless advised by a specialist doctor.
Never let your baby fall asleep on their own, or with you on a sofa or chair. This increases the chance of SIDS.
This can happen accidentally when you are very tired. Try to plan ahead so that you have somewhere close by to put your baby down to sleep safely.
When your baby is small you may have baby monitors, grow eggs or other electronic devices to keep help keep them safe. As your baby gets more active; pulling to stand, reaching; becoming inquisitive and exploring the world, their needs change.
When they reach this stage, it is important to think about moving the cot away from electrical wires and leads to prevent accidents. Remember - what kept your tiny baby safe can be dangerous for toddlers.
This means their parents and carers do not smoke and babies are not around others who are smoking or in rooms where people have smoked.
Experts say that if all expectant parents were able to stop smoking and continued not to smoke after the baby was born, the rate of SIDS could be halved.
When Baby Starts to Roll
When Baby Won't Sleep
If your child is 12 months or older, you can contact the National Sleep Helpline on 03303 530541 for support and advice. This is available Sunday - Thursday 7pm - 9pm. The helpline is run by a team of specialist trained sleep advisors. Although they cannot give medical advice, they can talk through your issues, offer you some practical strategies and recommend services that could help.
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631 590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.
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