[United Kingdom] New Survey Shows 40% of Parents are Not Co-sleeping Safely

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11 Mar 2020
Source: 
The Lullaby Trust

A survey shows that in the UK, 75% of 8,500 parents have co-slept with their baby at some point. Co-sleeping, especially under dangerous circumstances, increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Around 133 babies die each year in co-sleeping situations.

The Lullaby Trust wants to raise awareness and open discussions between parents and health professionals on co-sleeping. They have collaborated with Public Health England, UNICEF UK, Baby Friendly and Basis to help parents. They have published a guide for health professionals and resources for parents.

Providing parents with a safe space to be honest and open about co-sleeping situations is necessary as some feel judged or ashamed. Co-sleeping can be very dangerous; hence the need for information on how to do it safely, even if parents don't plan on co-sleeping. 

Here are some ways to co-sleep safely:

  • Keep the space around the baby clear of pillows and duvets
  • Always put the baby on their back
  • Avoid letting pets or other children in the bed
  • Make sure the baby cannot fall out of the bed or become trapped between the mattress and wall
  • Never leave the baby alone in the bed

However there are times when you SHOULD NOT CO-SLEEP WITH YOUR BABY:

  • Never sleep with a baby on a sofa or armchair
  • If you or anyone in the bed smokes (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom)
  • If you or anyone in the bed has consumed any alcohol, or has taken any drugs
  • The baby was born prematurely or weighed under 2.5 kg/ 5.5 lbs at birth

All of these circumstances increase the risk of SIDS.

There is nothing wrong with parents wanting to co-sleep with their babies, but it is really important to understand the risks of co-sleeping and to follow advice on how to do it safely.

For more advice on safer sleeping for your baby, download the free guide:  www.lullabytrust.org.uk/about-us/safer-sleep-week-2019/new-safer-sleep-publications/ or read our information on co-sleeping

This project is funded by: