Safer Sleep Week 9 – 15 March 2020

2 March 2020

Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City Child Death Overview Panel supports the Lullaby Trust ‘Safer Sleep’ Week. Safer Sleep Week is the Lullaby Trust’s national awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby. It aims to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and the safer sleep advice that reduces the risk of it occurring.

In 2020 the focus of the campaign is on surviving sleep deprivation. We know that tiredness is the greatest barrier for parents, to following safer sleep advice consistently. Expectations that babies should sleep through the night or for long periods of time can add to pressure on parents. They can be led to think that if their baby does not fit this pattern, they are doing something wrong or need to alter their behaviour to encourage their baby to sleep for longer.

Sadly, we know that sometimes doing something differently on one occasion can have devastating consequences. The aim of this year’s campaign is to help parents prepare for these moments when they may be tempted to take risks and provide advice on surviving sleep deprivation.

The campaign will seek to address the myth of normal new-born sleep and raise awareness that “just one night” is still risky, without terrifying parents who may already be tired and feeling vulnerable.

Campaign Aims

  • To continue to reduce the number of SIDS deaths by supporting parents to prioritise safer sleep over longer/deeper sleep
  • To challenge the myths around “normal” baby sleep that create false expectations and pressure parents into trying to get their baby to sleep for longer
  • To address the issue of safer sleep advice being out of step with real life by acknowledging that parental tiredness can be a barrier to following safer sleep practices and that sleep deprivation is hard. To offer support and encouragement in this rather than making more demands or causing anxiety
  • To raise awareness of the dangers of letting the routine lapse for a night

Key messages

  • The Lullaby Trust can help and support parents to make informed choices even when they are extremely tired
  • All babies are different, but it is normal for young babies to wake frequently and this should not be suppressed
  • SIDS is only rare because people follow safer sleep advice

Professionals are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the campaign aims and messages and promote the material on the Lullaby Trust website. 

We would also like to draw your attention to the ‘Safer Sleep’ e learning module and risk assessment tool available via the NSCP and NCSCP websites.

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