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Safer Sleep Week

14 March, 2016

Safer Sleep Week runs from 14 to 20 March and experts from City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP CIC) and partners from the Hull and East Riding Infant Safe Sleep working group are reminding parents to think about where their babies are sleeping. They are also spreading the word to people who work with families so that as many mums and dads as possible are aware of how to keep their babies safe while they sleep.

Safer Sleep Week is a national campaign from the Lullaby Trust to raise awareness of safer sleep messages. The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families and anyone affected by sudden infant death.

CHCP CIC and East Riding Council are part of the East Riding and Hull safe sleeping steering group, which is advising parents that the safest place for their baby to sleep is a crib or cot in a room with them for the first six months.

Things you can do:

  • breastfeed your baby
  • never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with you baby
  • not sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink, take drugs or are extremely tired, or if the baby was premature or of low birth weight
  • avoid letting the baby get too hot
  • not cover the baby’s face or head while sleeping, nor use loose bedding
  • keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth.

Debbie Jackson, infant feeding co-ordinator for CHCP CIC, said, “Parents are also reminded to take a second look at their baby’s sleeping arrangements whenever something changes, for example when a relative or babysitter is putting baby to bed, or when staying away from home.

“Health visitors, midwives or children’s centre workers can give parents information and discuss any concerns they may have.”

Debbie emphasised that breastfeeding can also play a big part in protecting babies from sudden infant death. “Studies have shown that breastfeeding is beneficial for babies and for mothers in lots of ways, but that its role in preventing sudden infant death is particularly important as research shows us that breastfeeding reduces the risk of sudden infant death by as much as 50%. We want to raise awareness for parents about the Safer Sleep campaign and to stress the role of breastfeeding in keeping babies safe while they sleep.”

The infant sleep information service www.isisonline.org.uk/about/  is a valuable source of information, with a free infant sleep app for parents that includes a bed-sharing decision tool guide. It also and explains when bed-sharing may be inadvisable and why.

For more information on safer sleeping, visit the Lullaby Trust website at www.lullabytrust.org.uk.

To find out more about CHCP CIC’s infant feeding service, go to www.chcpchildservices.org.uk/pages/infant-feeding-co-ordinator

Photo: Rob Mank