What sleep essentials do I need for my baby?
There are lots of baby products on the market and it can be very easy to get confused about what your baby actually needs for a safer sleep.
Keep things simple. Unnecessary items can increase the risk of your baby’s head being covered, which can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and can also increase the risk of accidents.
You only need a few things to keep your baby safer while they sleep:
• Their own sleep surface, such as a Moses basket, cot or travel cot.
• A firm, flat mattress, which fits the Moses basket or cot properly and has a waterproof cover – a cover helps to keep the mattress clean and dry, as it can be wiped down.
• A baby sleep bag such as The Grobag, not loose sheets and blankets.
Avoid using soft or bulky bedding such as quilts, pillows or duvets and remove any toys from the cot before each sleep.
You should also check that your baby’s mattress is in good condition and that it fits the Moses basket or cot properly.
Remember, the safest place for your baby to sleep is on their own sleep surface, in the same room as you, for at least the first six months. Your baby should sleep with their feet at the foot of the cot.
Is it safe to re-use a mattress, or get one secondhand?
Experts recommend using a new mattress for each baby but, if this is not possible, make sure the mattress and its waterproof cover are in a good condition with no tears or holes.
The mattress should still be firm and flat, and should not sag anywhere. Ensure the mattress is clean and dry and give the waterproof cover a thorough clean before using it. Make the bed up with fresh bedding.
Is it safe for babies to sleep in car seats?
Experts recommend stopping for breaks if your baby will be in the car seat for a long time – take the baby out of the seat to change position before continuing wherever possible.
Follow the guidance on the correct positioning of infants in car seats, and make sure that it is well-fitted. Keep your baby in view at all times – it’s best if an adult can sit in the back seat with a good view of the baby. Use a mirror so you can keep an eye on your baby if you’re travelling alone. Remember, car seats should only be used for transportation.
Some manufacturers recommend stopping for a break every two hours, but ask the manufacturer of your car seat if they have any specific advice.