Some believe swaddling young babies can help them settle to sleep. Whilst we do not advise for or against swaddling, we do urge parents to follow the advice below. If you decide to adopt swaddling, this should be done for each day and night time sleep as part of a regular routine:
- use thin materials
- do not swaddle above the shoulders
- never put a swaddled baby to sleep on their front
- do not swaddle too tight
- check the baby’s temperature to ensure they do not get too hot
Slings and baby-carriers are useful for holding a baby hands-free, however they are not always used safely. Although there is no reliable evidence that slings are directly associated with SIDS, there have been a number of deaths worldwide where infants have suffered a fatal accident from the use of a sling. These accidents are particularly due to suffocation, and particularly in young infants.
The risk appears to be greatest when a baby’s airway is obstructed either by their chin resting on their chest or their mouth and nose being covered by a parent’s skin or clothing.
The safest baby carrier to use will keep the infant firmly in an upright position where a parent can always see their baby’s face, and ensure their airways are free. Complete guidance is available by visiting The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.