Advice for parents to reduce the risk of cot death

Settling your baby to sleep (day and night) with a dummy can reduce the risk of cot death, even if the dummy falls out while your baby is asleep.

Breastfeed your baby. Establish breastfeeding before starting to use a Mam dummy.

Cut smoking in pregnancy – fathers too! And don’t let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby.

Place your baby on the back to sleep (and not on the front or side).

Do not let your baby get too hot, and keep your baby’s head uncovered.

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.

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

It’s especially dangerous for your baby to sleep in your bed if you (or your partner):

  • are a smoker, even if you never smoke in bed or at home
  • have been drinking alcohol
  • take medication or drugs that make you drowsy
  • feel very tired
  • or if your baby: was born before 37 weeks, weighed less than 2.5kg or 5½ lbs at birth.

Don’t forget, accidents can happen: 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 an adult bed and be injured.

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