Common childhood illnesses & well-being
A guide for parents and carers

Safer sleep for baby

Safer sleeping guidance

Lancashire has one of the highest rates of unexpected infant deaths in the country. There are some easy steps outlined below that you can take to reduce the risk of your baby dying unexpectedly.

The safest place for your baby to sleep is on their back in a cot in your room for the first six months and after that, your baby can be in its own room. To prevent wiggling down under the covers, always place your baby in the feet to foot position (with their feet at the end of the cot). Keep the baby’s head uncovered and bedclothes should be firmly tucked in and no higher than their shoulders. Be aware of the dangers if you decide to take your baby into your bed.

Babies can overheat, so try to keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for you, about 18°C (65°F) is ideal. Do not use duvets, quilts, baby nests, wedges, bedding rolls or pillows. Use sheets and lightweight blankets instead. Babies should never sleep with hot water bottles, electric blankets, next to a radiator, heater or fire or in direct sunshine. Visit for more information.

Why is it unsafe to sleep with my baby?

Falling asleep with your baby if you are tired or under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication significantly increases the risk of your baby dying. It’s lovely to have your baby with you for a cuddle or a feed, but it’s safest to put your baby back in their cot before you go to sleep.

Find out more at and search ‘safer sleep for baby’.

Accidents can happen

The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot. If your baby sleeps with you:

  • You might roll over in your sleep and suffocate your baby.

  • Your baby could get caught between the wall and your bed.

  • Your baby could roll on to the floor and be injured.

  • Co-sleeping on the sofa or chair is also dangerous.

If you sleep with your baby the risk of your baby dying unexpectedly is increased if you or your partner:

  • Are very tired.

  • Have recently drunk alcohol.

  • Have taken medication or drugs that make you sleep more heavily.

  • Are smokers (no matter where or when you smoke and even if you never smoke in bed).


  • If your baby was premature (born before 37 weeks); was low birth weight (less than 2½kg or 5½lb).


Always place your baby to sleep in the feet to foot position.


Babies aren’t good at keeping their temperature constant, so make sure they don’t get too hot or too cold.


Keep your baby’s cot in your room for the first six months. Keep the room temperature at about 18°C.