Our service offers advice and support on safer sleep. This page provides information and advice on ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

It is not known why some babies die suddenly from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or cot death. Research suggests that placing your baby to sleep on their back lowers the risk. Exposing a baby to cigarette smoke or allowing them to overheat also increases the risk to a baby. SIDS is rare, so it is important this does not stop you and your family enjoying your baby’s first few weeks and months. The NHS has some great advice, so if you would like to know more about preventing SIDS please click here.

In addition, the Lullaby Trust provides parents/carers with simple steps around ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, along with lots of other valuable information around safe sleep, including co-sleeping with your baby.

Recommendations for safer sleep by the Lullaby Trust


✔ Always place your baby to sleep on their back, with their feet at the bottom of the cot.

✔ Keep your baby smoke free at all times.

✔ The safest place for your baby to sleep is on their own sleep surface, in the same room as you, for at least the first six months.

✔ Use a firm, flat waterproof mattress that is in good condition and fits the Moses basket or cot properly.


✘ Never sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby, this can increase the risk of SIDS by 50 times.

✘ Avoid letting your baby become too hot. A room temperature of 16-20°C – with light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting baby sleep bag – is comfortable and safe.

✘ Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping. Don’t use loose bedding, tuck in blankets and sheets, and keep sleep surface clear of pillows & toys.

✘ Don’t add extra padding to travel cots.

✘ Don’t incline, tilt or prop the mattress or baby.

Breast feeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby and is proven to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

The ISPHN service also provide support for all mothers and babies whether breast fed or bottle fed. We aim to ensure that every baby has the best start in life. For more information and advice on feeding click here.

Sharing a sleep surface with your baby

It is particularly risky to share a sleep surface with your baby if:

  • You or your partner  smokes (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom).
  • You or your partner has drank alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy).
  • You are extremely tired.
  • Your baby was born premature (37 weeks or less).
  • Your baby was born at a low weight (2.5kg or 5½ lbs or less).

Welcome to the World card

We created a Welcome to the World card, which can be shared with new families to help them learn the basics of safer sleep.

You can download the card for free, should you wish to share it with a someone you know.

Download the ‘Welcome to the World‘ card.

Latest news on Safer Sleep

Safer Sleep Week 2023 is focusing on co-sleeping

Monday 13 March – Sunday 19 March


Safer Sleep Week is an annual awareness event ran by The Lullaby Trust to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome  (SIDS) and to equip parents with information on how they can reduce the risk.

The focus of the Lullaby Trust 2023 campaign is co-sleeping. The safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own clear, flat, separate sleep space, such as a cot or Moses basket.

However, we know that many parents find themselves co-sleeping whether they mean to or not. Wherever you’re planning for your baby to sleep, we recommend making your bed a safer place for baby. Learn more about co-sleeping with The Lullaby Trust’s online resources here.


This year, we have been working with our partner organisations across the Hull and the East Riding to understand whether safer sleep information is universally known to wider family members, such as fathers, partners and grandparents who may be supporting or be responsible for placing a baby to sleep. We ran a local survey at the beginning of 2023 to gather as much information as possible around this subject. We found that out of 77 respondents only 7 were male.

One respondent stated: “Fathers/partners don’t seem to get any advice on safer sleep. It seems like mum is expected to take on all the information.”

Another respondent said: “Having something physical that can be left around a house for other family members to pick up and read might be helpful.”

Help is at hand with our updated Welcome to the World card. Click here to read.

When having a baby, the support around you can be invaluable. However, quite often the people in your life have not attended the same meetings and appointments as you, and it can be tough to keep them informed. This card acts as a tool to bridge that gap and keep all caregivers in-the-know of the latest safer sleep good practices.

For safer sleep week we are also out and about in child health clinics, shopping centres and supermarkets across Hull and the East Riding spreading the safer sleep messages.


‘The Bedside Crib’ – Important information for Parents

In April 2015 a 7-week old baby from Sussex tragically dies through positional asphyxia, having been able to get her head lodged over the partial fold down side of a ‘Bednest’ crib. Whilst there is a fix from the manufacturers to remove the partial fold for the ‘Bednest’ crib, the safety issue is much wider and there are concerns that some parents/carers are sleeping with one side down while using a bedside crib.

Bedside cribs are only ever meant for access by a parent/carer when one side is down – NEVER FOR SLEEP. These are not a product which makes co-sleeping safer.

Bedside cribs are tested to comply with the relevant safety standard BS EN 1130; this is done with 4 sides up and intact. When one side is down (making the crib 3-sided) risks are present and supervision is necessary. The instruction on these products give the warning and state ‘Never leave a baby unsupervised in this product’. When parents are sleeping a baby is unsupervised.

ROSPA advice that bedside cribs should be in the 4-sided position when parents/carers and babies are sleeping, and partens/carers should only unzip/lower the side to gain access to their baby, settle them etc as detailed within the instructions for use.