More than half of parents unsure of the safest way to sleep their baby, survey finds

More than half of parents are still unsure of the safest way to put their baby to sleep, a survey has found.

Among the 500 parents with children aged 0-2 years who were questioned, more than 55% were not certain that a baby should sleep on its back to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The online survey, which was commissioned by charity The Lullaby Trust, found 38% of parents were not sure whether they can sleep a baby on their front and 55% were unsure whether to sleep a baby on their side.

Evidence shows babies who are slept on their back for every sleep are six times less likely to die from SIDS, often known as cot death, than those who sleep on their front or side.

Do you know how to sleep a baby safely?

The Lullaby Trust provides some quick tips for safer sleep to reduce the chances of SIDS, which is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby where no cause is found.

Things you can do:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep

  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth

  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months

  • Breastfeed your baby

  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition

Things to avoid:

  • Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby

  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight

  • Avoid letting your baby get too hot

  • Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding

A national "Back to Sleep" campaign was launched in 1991 to raise awareness of the safest practice.

The rate of unexplained deaths in infancy in the UK has reduced by 85% since then.

But the chief executive of The Lullaby Trust said the recent survey results suggested many parents needed reminding.