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Cot death advice should be followed for both day-time and night-time sleeps

New research reveals that advice on how to reduce the risk of cot death needs to be heeded just as much for an infant's day-time naps as it is for their night-time sleep. This not only includes the advice that babies should be placed on their back to sleep, but also that they should sleep in the same room as their parents or another adult during the day.

The study, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the time of death: factors associated with night-time and day-time deaths,  published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and partly funded by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), finds that 75% of the babies who died in the day-time were sleeping in a room where there was no adult present.

The study also finds that the babies who died during the day were more likely to have been placed on their side than on their back for their day-time naps, despite current safe sleeping advice which recommends always placing babies on their back to sleep. They were also more likely to be found with their heads covered by the bedclothes than the babies who didn't die.

Joyce Epstein, FSID's director, says: "Parents have long been advised of the importance of placing babies on their back and not letting their head get covered by bedclothes, and this study shows that the advice needs to be followed day and night. Parents have also long been advised that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot at the side of the parents' bed for the first six months. Today's study shows that it is important for babies to always sleep in the same room as an adult. For day-time naps, we suggest keeping your baby nearby in a carrycot or in a playpen while you go about your daily chores or, if possible, having a nap whenever your baby naps."