Based on advice from The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSIDS), please see some key points on safe sleep for your baby:
- Ensure that your mattress is clean, dry, firm, flat and well fitting
- The safest place for your baby to sleep is on its back, in a cot, crib or moses basket in a room with you for the first 6 months. If you use a moses basket, make sure that it only has a thin lining.
- Check your baby regularly to ensure that they do not become too hot or too cold, and keep your baby's head uncovered indoors.
- Babies do not need especially warm rooms (around 16-20 degrees Celsius is recommended). Babies should never sleep next to a radiator or in direct sunlight.
- Place your baby on their back, rather than on their front or side
- Place your baby with their feet to the foot of the cot, to prevent them wriggling down under the covers, or use a baby sleep bag.
- Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
- Bedding – do not use duvets, quilts or pillows if you baby is under 1 year old, instead try blankets, sheets or sleeping bags
It can be dangerous for your baby to sleep in your bed especially if you (or your partner):
- Have been drinking alcohol
- Feel very tired
Or if your baby:
- Was born before 37 weeks
- Weighed less than 2.5kg (5 ½ lbs) at birth
For further information, please visit www.fsid.org.uk and click on 'Looking after your baby'.
What to wear
Selecting what your baby should wear when sleeping depends on the temperature of your baby's bedroom and weight of the sleeping bag if you are using. Every baby is different and so it is important to check your baby's body temperature regularly and to adjust their bedding if needed.
There is often confusion over what to use when it comes to bedding; sleeping bags or blankets/sheets. There are benefits to choosing either and it will often depend on what you and your baby prefer.
Blankets – Blankets make it easy for you to keep your baby at the right temperature. You can simply add or remove a layer of blanket if your baby is too hot or cold (and remember that a folded blanket counts as two blankets). Placing your baby at the foot of the cot will help prevent covers from being kicked off during the night. FSID recommend that blankets should be well tucked in and no higher than the shoulders (ensuring that the head is not covered as this can cause overheating).
Sleeping Bags – A great way to keep a consistent temperature all night long, as covers cannot be thrown off. Be sure to check that the sleeping bag is a good fit for your baby before use and that the neck hole is not too loose or too tight.
As a guide, our bedding/temperature table below offers an example of what your baby may wear in different temperatures. This will give you a basic idea of what you may need, however it will always depend on your baby, so it is important to remember that checking your baby's body temperature regularly is one of the safest ways to avoid overheating.
24 degrees C / 75 degrees F
Sheet only or a 0.5 - 1 tog sleeping bag
22 degrees C / 71 degrees F
1 blanket or a 1 tog sleeping bag
20 degrees C / 69 degrees F
1-2 blankets or a 2.5 tog sleeping bag
Long-sleeved bodysuit or Short-sleeve bodysuit & pyjama top if using a 1 tog sleeping bag
18 degrees C / 65 degrees F
2 blankets or a 2.5 tog sleeping bag
Long-sleeved bodysuit & pyjama top
16 degrees C / 61 degrees F
2-3 blankets or a 2.5 tog sleeping bag
Long-sleeved bodysuit & sleepsuit/pyjama set
Remember: 1 blanket doubled counts as 2 blankets
Top tip: To see if your baby is too hot/cold, check your baby's body temperature by placing your fingers on their chest (this is as babies' hands can often feel cold).
Introducing a bedtime routine helps your baby learn when to go to sleep, with your baby starting to associate certain things with going to bed; such as cuddles, etc. It is recommended to establish a good consistent pattern first and then after that has been set, only then being more flexible.
To read more about bedtime routines and associated topics please visit one of the relevant recommend links provided in the links section of the website.