Supporting families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we appreciate that supporting families in the usual way will prove difficult. We advise that health professionals should follow their current local guidance with regard to providing face-to-face contact with families.

Most contacts will involve you giving safer sleep advice and emotional support over the telephone and we would like to support you with this. We have produced this animation with advice on how to follow safer sleep advice during the COVID-19 pandemic which you can share with parents.

We understand that isolating at home and/or working from home can put additional pressures on families, however it is really important that a baby has a safe space to sleep – a firm, flat and waterproof sleep space that is in the same room as the parent/carer for all day and night sleeps.

Even if you are unable to carry out home visits in person at the moment, it is still important to ask to see where the baby is sleeping both for day time and night times, this can be done by video call so the family can show you. Seeing where a baby sleeps will help to start a conversation about safer sleep, and may help to identify families who have not been able to buy or find a separate sleeping place for their baby.

Please see our professionals page for safer sleep advice. We have downloadable leaflets and resources here which can be talked through with families over the phone.

We also have more videos and animations.

For more information, please see our advice to parents on coronavirus (COVID-19) and caring for your baby.

The Lullaby Trust Information Helpline (0808 802 6869) is available for general safer sleep advice.

Useful resources for guidance

Institute of Health Visiting

Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)

RCOG Information for pregnant women and their families

World Health Organization (WHO)

Public Health England (PHE)

Our advice to parents on coronavirus (COVID-19) and caring for your baby

If you have a young baby, continue to follow public health advice:

  • Continue to breastfeed your baby if you are doing so
  • It is important that you continue to follow safer sleep advice to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • If you show symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) try not to cough or sneeze on your baby. Make sure they are in their own separate sleep space such as a cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for day and night sleeps
  • If your baby is unwell with a cold or fever don’t be tempted to wrap them up more than usual. Babies need fewer layers to lower their body temperature. Click here for more advice on temperature
  • Always seek medical advice if you are worried about your baby – either linked to coronavirus (COVID-19) or any other health issues. Click here for more information about our Baby Check app.

Free Safer Sleep Presentations for parents

We have created a series of presentations on safer sleep that can be shared with families. They can be viewed here.