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Preschool Nursery Safe Sleeping

Preschool Nursery Safe Sleeping

24 May 2022

Pre-school Nursery Safe sleeping can reduce the risk of sudden infant death, along with other risks, such as choking.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is also referred to as cot death.

SIDS is very rare and research is ongoing to provide more information.

A baby should be placed on it’s back to sleep, this reduces the risk of SIDS. Babies should be placed with their feet to the foot of the cot this prevents them being able to wriggle down to the end and under the covers.

Once a baby can roll do not worry if they move to their side or front to sleep.

Bed sharing comes with increased risks, the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot.

A baby should not share a bed with an adult particularly if:

  • Alcohol has been consumed
  • The adults are smokers
  • The adults have taken drugs/medication or feel very tired as this can mean they will sleep very heavily.
  • The baby had a low birth weight ( less than 2.5kg or 5.5lbs )
  • Was premature at birth

If a baby falls asleep in your arms always put them in their cot before you go to sleep.

It is important that a baby does not get too hot, babies can overheat because of:

  • The room being too hot
  • Too much clothing
  • Too much bedding

The room temperature should be about 18 degrees

Temperature can be controlled by adding and removing layers, if the room is warm then the baby may need just a sheet to cover them.

Remove bedding if:

  • A baby is sweating
  • Their tummy feels hot to touch

Even if a baby is unwell it is unlikely they will require extra clothes.

Do not let a baby sleep:

  • Next to a radiator
  • Next to a fire of any kind
  • With a hot water bottle
  • With an electric blanket

A baby’s head should not be covered when sleeping, as excess heat is lost through the head. If the baby has been outside, then a hat should be removed immediately on entering the indoors, for example a car shop or bus.

Covering a baby’s head increases the risk of SIDS

A mattress should be:

  • Firm
  • Clean
  • Flat
  • Well fitting
  • Covered with a single sheet
  • Waterproof on the outside

Do not use cot bumpers, duvets, pillows and quilts

A baby needs plenty of fluids, if they sleep a lot they should be woken regularly for fluids. Do not let a baby sleep in a car seat unless they are travelling and continually monitored.

Do not let a baby sleep in a sling, soft mattress or cushion, these can cause suffocation.

Swaddling is wrapping a baby firmly in a sheet or thin blanket, there are advantages and disadvantages to this, there is no recommendation it is purely down to choice. Further information on the advantages and disadvantages of this can be found at

It is possible that dummies may reduce the risk of SIDS, if given from the beginning however professionals do not agree on the promotion of dummies.

A child with a dummy in its mouth could still choke when asleep, the dummy should be removed as soon as the child is asleep.

Dummies should not be used until breastfeeding is established.

Cigarettes are harmful to babies before and after they are born and smoking increases the risk of SIDS.

Medical advice should be sought immediately if you feel your baby in unwell.

Further information can be found at or