Mum holding baby Safer Sleep 23/11/17

Let’s talk about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)…

We’re bringing you the answers from our friends at The Lullaby Trust!

‘Sudden infant death’ is the term used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby that is initially unexplained. The usual medical term is ‘sudden unexpected death in infancy’ (SUDI) or sudden unexpected death in childhood (SUDC), if the baby was over 12 months old.

Some sudden and unexpected deaths can be explained by the post-mortem examination revealing, for example, an unforeseen infection or metabolic disorder. Deaths that remain unexplained after the post mortem are usually registered as ‘sudden infant death syndrome’ (SIDS) or SUDC in a child over 12 months. Sometimes other terms such as SUDI or ‘unascertained’ may be used.

While SIDS is rare, it can still happen and there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk for your baby.

Things you can do:

·         Always place your baby on their back to sleep

·         Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth

·         Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months

·         Breastfeed your baby

·         Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition

Things to avoid:

·         Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby

·         Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight

·         Avoid letting your baby get too hot

·         Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about sudden infant death syndrome, see The Lullaby Trust’s guide to SIDS.

The Lullaby trust logoThe Lullaby Trust also offers free bereavement support to anyone affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or young child. If you would like to talk to someone, you can call their bereavement support helpline on Freephone 0808 802 6868 or email

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