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.

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).

Latest news on Safer Sleep

Safer Sleep Week 2021 is focusing on Dads!

Monday 15 March - Sunday 21 March

Download the 'Welcome to the World' card.

Dads often play a key role in the care of their baby, and in some cases, they are the primary carer. It is therefore crucial they understand how to reduce the risk of SIDS and sleep their baby safely.

The restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic may make it even more challenging to keep father’s, partners and extended family members informed of Safer Sleep key messages.

Our Welcome to the World card, developed collaboratively by Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, and in partnership with City Health Care Partnership (CHCP CIC), East Riding Council and Hull City Council, will be shared digitally with families across Hull and the East Riding this year. In addition, the cards will continue to be given out to new parents in the East Riding at their first Health Visitor post-birth appointment, for sharing within households or childcare bubbles.

Sarah Clapham, ISPHN health visitor at the Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The Welcome to the World card offers services the opportunity to congratulate new parents on the birth of their baby, promote key safety messages such as safer sleep for their newborn, and act as a tool to educate other care givers on safer sleep practices. We have received wonderful feedback from first time parents especially, who have appreciated the additional support during the challenging first few weeks of parenthood.”

As part of Safer Sleep Week, we spoke to new father, Bobby Bahadori, about the joys and challenges of being a first time dad, and how learning about SIDS is something he believes to be vital to all family members. You can read the article here.

'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.