Ask DadPad, Parenting Advice, Safety, Sleep

Ask DadPad: Where is the safest place for my baby to sleep?

Posted on 15th March 2024

Providing information on keeping your baby safe whilst they sleep is something we’ve always prioritised here at DadPad.  We’ve always had safer sleep messaging in all our core resources, and we’ve also written a number of blogs on the topic – you can find all our sleep-related blog posts here.

Today’s post – written for Safer Sleep Week 2024 – aims to give you a quick recap of the advice on the safest place for your baby to sleep, with information from The Lullaby Trust and other safe-sleep-focused organisations.


This year’s Safer Sleep Week theme is ‘the safest place’ for your baby to sleep.  We’ve already shared information in a previous blog from the Every Sleep Counts team at Hampshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, who state that:

The safest place for your baby to sleep is on their back in a cot or Moses basket in the same room as parents/carers for the first six months.

As part of this year’s Safer Sleep Week campaign, The Lullaby Trust are focusing in on the specifics of the sleep surface itself, stating that the safest place for baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface with no padded or cushioned areas.

This is important as it helps to keep your baby’s airways open and reduce the risk of them suffocating, or experiencing SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome, previously called ‘cot death’).

This means that you should ideally be placing baby to sleep in a cot, Moses basket, carry cot, crib or other suitable location, and avoiding letting them sleep in things like baby bouncers or swings, hammocks, baby bean bags or with ‘sleep aids’, such as a sleep positioner, where they could slump.  This is important to remember alongside the ‘Every Sleep Counts’ messaging, which emphasises us that every sleep counts when it comes to baby safety, and not just those that take place at home, at night.

To further protect their airways, you should also always ensure that:

  • Your baby is placed on their back to sleep; and
  • You keep the cot clear of anything that could cover their face – such as cot bumpers, toys, pillows, and loose bedding.

A couple of other critical pieces of sleep-location advice are:

  • To NEVER risk falling asleep yourself with your baby in your arms, especially when you are sitting on a sofa or armchair, as this can increase your baby’s risk of SIDS by 50 times. Instead, if you find yourself (or spot your partner) in this position and starting to feel sleepy, you should lift the baby to a more suitable sleeping place – i.e. onto a firm, flat mattress, ideally in a cot, Moses basket, carry cot etc; and
  • To NEVER have baby sleeping in the same bed as you (and/or your partner) if either of you:
    • Smoke;
    • Has recently drunk any alcohol or taken drugs that make you feel sleepy/less aware; or
    • Your baby was born prematurely/of low birth weight.

So, to summarise, the safest place for your baby to sleep – for EVERY sleep they have – is:

  • in their own sleep space;
  • which is clear of any clutter;
  • On a firm, flat mattress, which doesn’t sag, slope or tilt; and
  • In the same room as parents/carers.


Want to find out more?