Safer sleep for baby

290 babies die unexpectedly before their first birthday every year. Many of these deaths are classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or cot death, which usually happens when babies are sleeping.

No-one wants to think that the worst will happen to their baby but it's important that parents and carers know the risks and what they can do about them.

Do you know your six steps?

Safer sleep for baby focuses on six easy to follow steps which you can follow any time you put your baby down to sleep.

  1. Keep baby away from smoke, before and after birth. 
  2. Put baby in a cot, crib or moses basket to sleep - never fall asleep with them on a sofa or chair. 
  3. Never fall asleep with baby after drinking or taking drugs/medication. 
  4. Put baby to sleep on their back with their feet to the foot of the cot. 
  5. Keep baby's head and face uncovered and make sure they don't get too hot. 
  6. Breastfeed your baby - support is available if you need it.

Your baby should sleep in the same room as you for the first six months.

Sleeping away from home? 

If you're baby is going to be sleeping somewhere different for the first time, whether this is on holiday or at a baby sitters, it's important that whoever is looking after them follows the safer sleep advice.

Plan ahead 

Before you go away there are a few extra things you should think about. See how you can get prepared.

For more practical tips to help you follow the six steps see:

Benefits of breastfeeding
What should my baby sleep in?
Bed sharing

Getting the right information from professionals will help you keep your baby safe.

If you need to talk anything through, you can speak to your:

Little Lullaby (external link) provide advice especially for young parents.


If you work with parents of young children, we have information to help you support the safer sleep for baby campaign (external link).