Whilst these figures look alarming and our heart and support goes out to every single family that has suffered from the loss of their baby, it is important to remember that the cause of SIDS remains unknown and in the case of those babies who sadly died no-one can confirm that bed-sharing was the cause of their death.
Our aim is, and has always been to provide parents with evidence-based information so you are empowered to make safe, informed choices for you and your baby. So how can you keep your baby safe and stay sane?
We believe that all parents should be armed with information on how to safely bed-share even if they never plan on sharing a bed with their baby, as research shows that most parents do, even if it is unintentional, and unplanned bed-sharing is always less safe.
It is very important to remember these big NO points for bed-sharing:
- If your baby was premature or very small at birth, it is not safe to bed-share, especially in the early months
- Do not sleep with your baby when you have been drinking any alcohol or taking drugs that may cause drowsiness (legal or illegal)
- Do not sleep with your baby if you or anyone else in your house or in contact with your baby is a smoker.
- Do not put yourself in a position where you could doze off with your baby on a sofa or armchair, unless the baby is fully and continually supervised by another adult.
If you are currently bed-sharing or plan to bed-share then there are some very important safety guidelines to follow;
- Keep your baby well away from the pillows
- Make sure your baby cannot fall out of bed or become trapped between the mattress and the wall
- Make sure the bed clothes cannot cover your baby’s face or head
- Don’t leave your baby alone in the bed, as even very young babies can wriggle into a dangerous position.
- Baby should not be next to older siblings
All of the hype in the media can be very stressful. Please understand that research tells us that:
- Co-sleeping (same room, different surface) is the safest possible way for your baby to sleep. Sleeping alone is a major SIDS risk factor for babies
- Bed-sharing is not inherently dangerous if safe guidelines are followed. Deaths in babies who were said to be "bed-sharing" almost always contained multiple other risk factors or unsafe practices
- Cultures in which bed-sharing is the norm have some of the lowest rates of SIDS.
Our sleep workshop looks at why babies sleep the way they do and provides a framework to support you to get more sleep with evidence-based, empowering information. All our frameworks are gentle, respectful and empathise with both babies and parents.
Information for parents on caring for your baby at night, how to co-sleep safely and what is expected from your baby during the first few months.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or cot death is rare, but here's how you can reduce the risk even further.
A great infographic giving parents information in a easy to understand '7 smart steps to safer bed-sharing'