Safe sleeping tips

The following advice can help to prevent cot death and allow a baby to sleep safely.

Always sleep a baby on the back
This is the safest sleeping position. The baby is so free with the face. Always place a baby in the supine position from birth. Turn a baby back on the back with any secondary prone position. If a baby can turn around easily, the baby can determine his sleeping position.

Use a baby sleeping bag or a blanket with a blanket for the first two years.
Children who are younger than 2 years are most safe in a baby sleeping bag or under a blanket with a sheet.

The plus points of a baby sleeping bag are:

  • A child can not get his head under the bedding.
  • Young babies are less likely to roll from the back to the abdomen.
  • A child can not be exposed.
  • A child can climb out of bed more difficult.

Sleep a baby without sleeping bag, make the blanket and bed sheet firm and short - feet against the foot end.

Do not use a duvet for the first two years
A duvet can be much too warm for a baby. And the child can easily squeeze under or in the loose bedding. This can impede breathing. A blanket in a duvet cover is possible, but the blanket must be the same size as the cover. The duvet cover must be large enough so that it can be placed at least 10 cm below the mattress at the bottom and sides. The cover must close properly. Just as with the use of a blanket and blanket, make sure the bed is short - feet against the foot end.

Lay a baby to sleep in a crib or cot
This is the safest place to sleep. Put the bed as close to the parental bed as possible during the first half of the year. Also, during the day, you should supervise during sleep. Sleeping with a child in one bed is certainly a risk factor for cot death in the first four months. The child can get too hot because of the duvet, getting stuck between mattresses, falling out of bed or pressing his face against pillows. In addition, a sleeping parent can roll on the child. The risk increases if parents smoke, have drunk, have taken medicines or drugs, are very tired, stressed or overweight.

Do not lay a child in bed
A child can tighten. Use a baby sleeping bag. This makes it more difficult for a child to turn on the stomach. And it keeps a child warm. If a child tries to climb out of the bed, the bars can be removed or a child's bed can be purchased. A soft surface is advised in case a child falls out of bed.

Do not dress a baby too hot
Note the combination of clothing, bedding and room temperature. A baby is warm enough if his feet or neck feel comfortable. Make sure the temperature of the baby room is between 16 ° C -18 ° C. Do not put a baby in bed after the first days; a baby regulates his temperature with the head. That is why the head must remain uncovered.
In case of a fever, cover a child less warmly than usual. If a child perspires, he is already very hot. Then cover a child less warmly or lower the temperature in the room.
In the warm summer months this temperature is often unrealizable and will be somewhat higher. This is not bad at all, however, keep this in mind when dressing and covering a child. VeiligheidNL has no health information regarding the air conditioning.

Ensure good ventilation in the nursery
Fresh air is important. Open a window regularly in the nursery.

Keep a baby free of smoke
This applies not only in the home, but also on the road (in the car) or if you are visiting somewhere else. Regularly ventilate the room where a child sleeps, even if you do not smoke.

Provide a safe bed
Use a cradle or bed, whose side walls are ventilating. The gap must be between 4.5 and 6.5 cm. Choose a firm and well-fitting mattress. Too soft bedding such as head protector, pillow, pillow-type cuddly toys and stabilization cushions can interfere with breathing. Do not use a tarpaulin or mattress cover with an impenetrable layer. If you want this, do not put it under the head of your child.

Do not use medicines with a drowsy side effect
Unless the general practitioner prescribes this. This also applies to the mother as long as she is breastfeeding. This also applies to cough drinks.

Disturb as little rest and regularity as possible
Do not expose a baby unnecessarily to fatigue and stress. This disrupts the sleep rhythm of a baby.

Give your baby breastfeeding and use a pacifier
There are indications that breastfeeding reduces the risk of cot death. This also applies to a pacifier. If a child is breast-fed, use only a pacifier if the breastfeeding has gotten going well. A pacifier can be given immediately after bottle feeding.

More information

For more information about safe sleep and the site of the Dutch Center Jeigdgezondheid.
The JGZ Guideline for the Prevention of Cradle Death, with the accompanying practical summary and overview card can be downloaded from