Keeping your baby safe during nap time

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Nap-time seems like such a peaceful and harmless activity for babies, but beware of the risks of cot death.


Find out how to protect your child from a death during nap-time

Nap-time safety

Each year nearly 3,000 babies die from SIDS, many of them breathe their last breaths in the short hour or two mums call ‘nap-time’. SIDS victims are babies, who appear to be perfectly healthy when their parents put them down for a nap or at bedtime, but then they never wake up. Cot death is another term used for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Which babies die from cot death?

Protecting your child from cot death (SIDS) is not something a mum can do with a full guarantee at any time. There will always be a chance that parents might have to go through the agonizing pain of losing their child. While there are still many things we do not know for sure about cot death, we do know this:

  • Most babies who die from cot death do so between the ages of 2 and 4 months. However, babies up to a year old can also succumb to cot death.
  • More boys than girls die from cot death.
  • Premature babies, low birth weight babies, and babies who have been and are exposed to cigarette smoke die from cot death.

RELATED: Worthless worries about your unborn child


Find out how to protect your child from a death during nap-time

How to protect your child

Protecting your child from cot death during their nap-time and yourself from the agonizing loss of your child is not 100% full-proof, but there are things you can do to significantly reduce the risk, such as:

  • Put your child down for their nap on their back. Since experts have been warning mums that babies should sleep on their back, there has been a 38% decrease in cot deaths.
  • Keep the room cool, but not too cold. Stale, warm, and stuffy air makes it difficult for a baby to breathe.
  • Use tight-fitting bedding on a firm crib mattress. No toys or fussy blankets should be left in the crib, either. Use only blankets that are breathable and allow the baby to get fresh air.
  • Allowing a baby to soothe themselves to sleep with a pacifier makes their breathing more regular and consistent. This is a good thing.
  • Keep your home free of cigarette smoke and other heavy fumes and/or odors.

RELATED: Pacifiers – the good, the bad and the how-to wean

Being brave

While there is nothing you can do to guarantee your baby’s safety, you must not let the fear of cot death (SIDS) rob you of the joy your baby brings to your life. Enjoy these first months of your baby’s life — they only happen once and stay for a very short period of time.

Tell us if these tips have helped you to better understand how to protect your child during nap-time! Watch this video, for more on this subject:

Baby Health Baby sleep