Cot death (also called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby for no obvious reason-a huge worry to virtually all new parents. Cot death is the leading cause of death in babies over one month old, which is why there’s so much information about it. But It is still rare: in 2003 (the latest figures) there were 344 cot deaths recorded in the UK. That’s 0.49 per 1,000 live births-a very small proportion.
HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF COT DEATH:
- Stop smoking (also in pregnancy, and this goes for dads too).
- Don’t let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby.
- Always lay your baby on her back.
- Don’t let your baby get too hot: if the room feels hot to you, it is to her too. Don’t put more bedding if she’s unwell-a baby with a fever needs less clothing and bedding, not more.
- Keep your baby’s head uncovered-put her feet at the foot of the cot , so she can’t wriggle down under the covers and get them over her head.
- It’s safest to sleep with your baby in a cot in your bedroom for the first six or have a baby monitor.
- It’s dangerous to share a bed with your baby if you or your partner:
Feel very tired
- There is also a risk that you might roll over in your sleep and suffocate your baby, or that your baby could get caught between the wall and the bed, or could roll out of an adult bed and be injured.
- Never sleep together on a sofa, armchair or settee. This increase the risk of cot death fifty times compared with sleeping a baby in a cot in your room.
- If your baby is unwell, get medical advice as soon as you can.