The Lullaby Trust are calling for more advice for new parents about co-sleeping
The Lullaby Trust are pressing for more information to be given to parents about the risks of co-sleeping with babies. It has just published research showing that of the 3,402 new parents surveyed, 9 in 10 have slept alongside their baby. However, only 4 in 10 have been given advice by health professionals on how to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
SIDS is the unexplained death of a child who is less than one year’s old. 168 babies die from it every year in the UK. The trust says that falling asleep with a baby on a sofa or armchair could increase the risk of SIDS by up to 50 times.
Fiona Bullock, who is Deputy Head of Safeguarding at the Aneurin Bevan Health Board, says that every parent is given that information in Wales.
She also says that, from her experience, “most parents don’t consider it as a risk in their parenting, they don’t think about the risk of SIDS. It’s more about professionals raising it with them for awareness.”
Heatherjane Dangerfield who works at Sands, a charity that supports parents during prenatal and infant death, says that for parents who lose their babies in this way, “there is constant, tangible memories around the house.”
She also says that the support group that SANDS run in Cardiff helps parents to find comfort with people who are experiencing the same grief as them.
The Lullaby Trust recommends that if parents do end up co-sleeping, they should keep pillows and bedding away from the baby. They should also make sure nothing will cover their heads or cause them to overheat. Babies should sleep on their backs as this will reduce the risk of SIDS.