Experts warn sleeping aids are putting babies at greater risk of SIDS and cot death

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  • Public Health England (PHE) and a leading SIDS charity are urging parents to avoid sleeping aids that strap or wedge the baby in place.

    Parents are being warned that sleeping devices such as baby hammocks, sleeping pods, cot bumpers and pillows are increasing the risk of cot death.

    As part of Safer Sleep Week, The Lullaby Trust, a charity that raises awareness around sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and PHE have issued new sleep guidelines for parents.

    The charity warns that sleeping products can cause babies to overheat or obstruct their airways. Every year in the UK, around 300 babies die because of SIDS.

    The Lullaby Trust stress that putting a baby to sleep on anything but a firm, flat, waterproof surface can increase the risk of SIDS.

    The charity conducted a report, which revealed 41 per cent of parents have bought or are considering an item that goes against this basic principle.

    Understandably, many parents are drawn to products from trusted brands on the high street that claim to be safe and effective at soothing their babies to sleep.

    Official advice is to always put your baby on their back to sleep

    However, The Lullaby Trust say this is down to ‘inaccurate claims’ from manufacturers about the safety of the products, which means parents cannot make informed decisions.

    Francine Bates, chief executive of The Lullaby Trust, explained: ‘It is hard for parents when they are trying to choose from the overwhelming number of baby products on offer and many people make the reasonable assumption that if an item is sold on the high street or made by a recognised brand it is safe for their baby.’

    To reduce the risk of SIDS, The Lullaby Trust suggest:

    • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
    • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
    • Breastfeed your baby if you can
    • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months
    • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition.

    Were you aware of the dangers of sleeping aids for babies? Let us know in the comments section!