Feeding your baby

Safe sleep and caring for your baby at night

Night feeds in the early days are important for establishing milk supply and feeding your baby. It helps to know how to cope with the early days when babies cannot sleep for long stretches, what normal baby sleep is, the normal sleep patterns of babies and toddlers, as well as safe sleep to reduce the risk of SUDI, the impact of dummies on breastfeeding and sleep. Evidence based information about sleep helps tired parents to make informed decisions about what is right for their family, including routines, schedules and sleep training.  

Follow this advice for every sleep and nap, not just at night.

Things that you can do:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
  • Breastfeed your baby
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition

Things to avoid:

  • Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
  • Don't sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, have drunk alcohol, have taken drugs or medication or are extremely tired, or if your baby was born prematurely or of low birth weight
  • Avoid letting your baby get too hot
  • Don't cover your baby's face or head whilst sleeping or use loose bedding
  • Remove all pillows, cot bumpers and soft toys from the cot
  • Don't sleep your baby on a soft surface such as a pod or nest

Please visit these websites for more help and advice:

Lullaby Trust - https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/

NHS guidance - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/caring-for-a-newborn/helping-your-baby-to-sleep/