Your Baby and You - page 48

Reducing the risk of cot death
In a small number of cases, babies die suddenly for no apparent reason,
from what is called cot death or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There
are some factors which are associated with SIDS and the advice listed below
provides guidance on how you can help to reduce the risk to your baby.
The advice below should be followed at all times.
Breastfeeding reduces your baby’s risk of cot death.
Place your baby on its back to sleep.
This is the safest position for your baby to sleep in.
Never sleep with your baby on an armchair or sofa.
Do not let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby. Better still, do not
permit any smoking in the house. Ideally, encourage those concerned to give
up smoking altogether!
Keep your baby’s head uncovered - place your baby with their feet to the
foot of the cot, to prevent wriggling down under the covers.
When you check your baby, if they are sweating or their tummy feels hot to
the touch, take off some of the bedding. Don’t worry if hands or feet feel
cool, this is normal.
Use lightweight blankets. If your baby feels too warm, reduce the number of
layers. Do not use a duvet, quilt or pillow for babies under twelve months.
Babies should never sleep with a hot water bottle or electric blanket, next to
a radiator, heater or fire, or in direct sunshine.
Remove hats and extra clothing as soon as you come indoors or enter a
warm bus, train or shop, even if it means waking your baby.
Do not share a bed with your baby if you have been drinking alcohol, taking
recreational drugs, smoking or taking medication that makes you feel sleepy.
Do not let your baby get too hot or too cold. Ideally room temperature
should be between 16 and 20 degrees centigrade. (See table on next page).
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