Safer Sleep Product Checklist by the Lullaby Trust

Written by Emma Diacono


Posted on March 14 2018

How to choose baby sleeping products 

Article and checklist by The Lullaby Trust UK

There are a large number of sleeping products on the market so we have put together some guidelines to help you make an informed choice

The Lullaby Trust is often asked whether or not we recommend a particular product. We don’t generally recommend or comment on any individual branded products but encourage parents and professionals to look at our evidence-based advice before making a decision about their baby’s sleeping environment.

Our evidence-based advice on choosing baby sleeping products
The number of products available can be confusing, so sticking to this simple guideline can help parents make an informed choice:

The safest place for a baby to sleep is a separate cot, crib or Moses basket. We recommend a firm, flat, waterproof mattress.

More information about products
New baby sleep products come on to the market regularly. We don’t generally recommend for or against any individual brand of product. We do have some corporate partnerships with key manufacturers, but these do not influence the research that our safer sleep advice is based on.

The research that backs up our safer sleep advice has found that the safest environment for a baby to sleep is a separate sleeping place (such as a cot) that has a firm, flat surface with a waterproof cover, and that the sleeping surface is in good condition and undamaged.

Frequently asked questions
Is this product safe?
Some products clearly do not fit within our guidelines. However, our advice and the research that informs it only relates to the safest sleeping place and doesn’t look at individual products.

Therefore it is up to parents to make a decision about their baby’s sleeping environment and whether this conforms to the advice we give to reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The key things are to make sure the mattress is firm, flat and waterproof and the cot is kept free of bumpers, toys and loose bedding. Pillows and duvets should not be used for babies under 12 months.

This product claims no baby has ever died of SIDS whilst using it?
Our safer sleep advice is based on extensive research but the research only looks at SIDS, not individual products. As new products are launched all the time, it would not be possible for us to to test them and so we have to look at the evidence collected over many years that shows a firm and flat surface is best for sleeping babies.

As the number of babies dying of SIDS in the UK is now thankfully very low, this does not help to tell us whether or not a product is safe.

This product says it has passed safety tests – does this refer to Safer Sleep?
We encourage parents to make sure that any product they buy has a British Safety Standard, particularly when buying a product over the internet. A Safety Standard does not mean that a product helps to reduce the chance of SIDS, but just guarantees a certain level of general safety (e.g. will not fall apart or set fire easily). You should also carefully follow the manufacturers’ instructions for any product you buy and contact the manufacturer directly with any questions.

Still confused about a baby sleeping product?
If this advice seems confusing then it may be easier to remember our simple sleep advice. For sleep, a ‘clear cot’ with a firm, flat, waterproof mattress is fine.

A ‘clear cot’ is one that only includes the essentials a baby needs: a flat, waterproof mattress and some bedding, but nothing else. Three key questions you could ask are:

Is it firm?
Is it flat?
Does it have a waterproof cover?

For help with choosing products, please Download our Safer Sleep Product Checklist here

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