Daytime Naps With Parent Reduce Cot Death Risk

Babies should be put down for their daytime naps in the same room as their parents to minimise the risk of cot deaths, according to newly published research. A three-year study, part-funded by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, has found that three-quarters of babies who die have been put down in rooms alone.

The findings contradict advice by the controversial childcare guru Gina Ford, who recommends putting babies to sleep in their own room from birth.

The new research, published online in the International Journal of Epidemiology, suggests that such advice could be dangerous. Although the majority (83%) of infant deaths occurred at night, a significant number in the study of 325 cot deaths happened during the day.

The Department of Health and FSID already advise that babies should sleep in the same room as their parents at night for the first six months of their life.

But FSID is altering its advice to cover sleeps in the daytime. Joyce Epstein, its director, said: “This statistically significant finding shows that it is important for babies to always sleep in the same room as an adult. For daytime naps, we suggest keeping your baby nearby in a carrycot or in a playpen.”