Frequently asked questions

It is natural to have lots of questions about keeping your baby safe. If you have other questions which aren’t already answered here, please feel free to contact us and we will endeavour to answer any questions you may have.

Please click the question to reveal the answer below.

> Does having my baby immunised increase the risk of cot death?

No. Research actually indicates that babies who have been vaccinated are at a lower risk of cot death.

> Do I need a new mattress for each baby?

Two research studies carried out by the Scottish Cot Death Trust have shown an increased risk of cot death for babies sleeping on a mattress previously used by another baby. The risk was very small if the other baby was an older brother or sister in the same family but higher if the mattress was second-hand from another home. More research is continuing on this subject, but in the meantime you may choose to avoid any potential risk by buying a new mattress. Otherwise, make sure the mattress is very clean, dry and in good condition. It’s best to choose one which is totally covered with plastic which can be easily be washed down.

> I don't have room for my baby's cot in my bedroom. What should I do?

If you don’t have room for your baby to sleep in your room, have your baby in the next room and make sure both doors are open.

> Can I take my baby in an aeroplane?

Several years ago, there was a suggestion that babies might be at increased risk of sudden infant death if they had been on a long plane journey, because of the different oxygen levels in an aircraft. However, there is no evidence of a higher incidence of cot death in babies who have been travelling on planes.

> I want to breastfeed my baby in my bed during the night, but I am worried about the risks of cot death. What advice can you give me?

While it’s perfectly natural to want to feed your baby in bed, it’s safest to put your baby back in their cot after feeding, and before you go to sleep. Co-sleeping increases the risk of cot death.

> Is it safe for my twins to share a cot?

When twins are born, they are often placed in the same cot or crib to sleep and whilst we do not recommend this, we accept that for some small babies it is easier to settle them this way. Ideally they should sleep in separate cribs or cots in their parents’ room for the first 6 months. However, if space is an issue and you have no choice but to have them sleep in the same cot in your room, then ideally they should be slept end to end in the cot with minimum covers, rather than side by side.

> My baby was born prematurely, and I’ve heard it is safer to have him sleep in his own cot in my room for the first 6 months. Does this mean 6 months from his actual birth date, or 6 months from his “due” date?

Premature babies can sometimes have additional health issues and it might be best to discuss your baby’s individual needs with your Paediatrician who will know more about your baby’s health. However, if your baby is healthy and thriving, we would suggest you follow the normal guidelines of having him sleep in his own cot, in your room for the first 6 months from the date he was born.