Designing a nursery is an exciting process and we are spoilt for choice when it comes to ideas and products. However at the heart of any nursery design should be the safety of the little person who will be using the room. In the case of babies this is sleep safety to reduce the risk of Cot death.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death, is the sudden, unexplained and unexpected death of an apparently healthy baby. In the UK more than 200 babies die each year from SIDS. Most deaths happen in the first 6 moths of life, and usually occur when the baby is asleep. Although the exact cause of SIDS is unknown. There are several ways in which parents can reduce the risk and provide a safe, sleeping environment for their babies. However a safe sleeping environment can also look beautiful.
Keep reading for tips on how to create the safest yet loveliest nursery possible.
A separate sleeping space.
The safest way for a baby to sleep is in a separate cot or Moses basket for every sleep. The cot or Moses basket should have a flat, firm mattress, protected by a waterproof cover. The mattress must be in good condition with no damage. Although it is recommended that a baby sleeps in the parents room for the first 6 months, they should still sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket.
Best sleeping position.
Babies should always be placed to sleep on their back for every sleep, day and night. They should also be positioned at the bottom end of the cot. Feet to foot of the cot. This prevents them from slipping down under the bedding.
Not too hot.
A baby’s room should not be too hot. The risk of SIDS increases if a baby gets too warm. The room temperature should be maintained between 16-20°C. You can use a room thermometer to check the temperature and if baby feels warm then remove a layer of bedding. It is also worth noting that babies who are unwell need less bedding, not more, to help reduce their temperature. Babies should also never sleep in hats and a cot or Moses basket should not be placed next to a radiator.
Avoid loose bedding.
Soft or bulky bedding such as quilts and duvets can lead to a baby overheating. A baby with loose bedding may wriggle underneath the bedding and again become too hot or entangled. It is important that sheets and light blankets are firmly tucked in below shoulder height, or a suitable tog sleeping bag is used. Babies should not sleep with a pillow. Pillows can increase the risk of SIDS by 2.5 times.
Tip – Use a fitted, coloured cot sheets, light blankets and patterned or coloured sleeping bags to add interest to the room.
The safest cot is a clear cot.
Whilst toys and cushions add great decorative touches to a cot. If they are left in the cot whilst baby sleeps there is a risk that they can cover baby’s head and increase the risk of SIDS. Therefore it is advised that any toys and cushions are removed from the cot before sleep time.
Tip – Place a little storage basket next to the cot to provide somewhere to quickly throw in any toys or cushions from the cot.
Cot bumpers or canopies over a cot also look lovely. But once a baby can move around the cot there is a greater risk of them becoming entangled in the bumper ties or material. The may also use the bumper to pull themselves up, posing a greater risk of falling.
Tip – If you wish to add a canopy to the room, make a little den or reading corner with a canopy and cushions.
The Lullaby Trust can offer further information and support about SIDS .
Wishing you a safe and peaceful nights sleep!
Picture credits with thanks (1). Kidspot.com.au (2). Instagram @Liberty Interiors. (3).Bermbach Handcrafted (4). Kidspot.com.au (5). Purflo. (6). Instagram @andme.nl. (7). Ella and Elliot Toronto. (8). Ses & Jen stylefiles. (9). Miss Lemonade kidstore. (10). Pinterest.