Safe Sleeping for Babies

Keeping your baby safe is the number one concern of new parents

The Lullaby Trust website has lots of useful information on looking after your baby while they sleep and keeping them safe. Based their advice, here are some key points on safe sleeping for your baby:

  • Use a firm, flat mattress that is well fitting and waterproof (e.g. by using a waterproof mattress protector)
  • The safest place for your baby to sleep is on its back, in a cot, crib or moses basket in a room with you for the first 6 months. If you use a moses basket, make sure that it only has a thin lining.
  • Check your baby regularly to ensure that they do not become too hot or too cold, and keep your baby’s head uncovered while sleeping.
  • Babies do not need especially warm rooms (around 16-20 degrees Celsius is recommended). Babies should never sleep next to a radiator or in direct sunlight.
  • Place your baby on their back, rather than on their front or side
  • Place your baby with their feet to the foot of the cot, to prevent them wriggling down under the covers, or use a baby sleep bag.
  • Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
  • Bedding – do not use duvets, quilts or pillows if your baby is under 1 year old, instead try blankets, sheets or sleeping bags
  • Bed Sharing increases the risks of SIDs and can be particularly dangerous if you (or your partner): smoke (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom); have been drinking alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy); feel very tired; or if your baby was born before 37 weeks, and/or weighed less than 2.5kg (5 ½ lbs) at birth
  • Bedside Cribs are cribs that attach to the parent’s bed providing baby’s with their own sleeping space, reducing the fear of smothering and risk of suffocation (from duvets and pillows). Bedside cribs therefore can be a safer alternative to bed sharing, whilst still providing many of the same benefits: Ease when breastfeeding; Comforting and settling your baby without having to get up out of bed; Bonding with your baby

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What to wear with a sleeping bag

Selecting what your baby should wear when sleeping depends on the temperature of your baby’s bedroom and weight of the sleeping bag if you are using. Every baby is different and so it is important to check your baby’s body temperature regularly and to adjust their bedding if needed. You will soon discover what your baby is most comfortable wearing

As a guide, our bedding/temperature table below offers an example of what your baby may wear in different temperatures. This will give you a basic idea of what you may need, however it will always depend on your baby, so it is important to remember that checking your baby’s body temperature regularly is one of the safest ways to avoid overheating.

For guidance only.

Room temperature Amount of bedding Clothing
Warm 24 degrees C / 75 degrees F Sheet only or a 0.5 – 1 tog sleeping bag Short-sleeved bodysuit
22 degrees C / 71 degrees F 1 blanket or a 1 tog sleeping bag Long-sleeve bodysuit
20 degrees C / 69 degrees F 1-2 blankets or a 2.5 tog sleeping bag Long-sleeved bodysuit or Short-sleeve bodysuit & pyjama top if using a 1 tog sleeping bag
Ideal 18 degrees C / 65 degrees F 2 blankets or a 2.5 tog sleeping bag Long-sleeved bodysuit & pyjama top
Cool 16 degrees C / 61 degrees F 2-3 blankets or a 2.5 tog sleeping bag Long-sleeved bodysuit & sleepsuit/pyjama set

Remember: 1 blanket doubled counts as 2 blankets.

Top tip: To see if your baby is too hot/cold, check your baby’s body temperature by placing your fingers on their chest (this is because babies’ hands can often feel cold).