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  • **Pocahontas**

    What age is a good age to take the side off of a toddler bed? and how do you know your child is ready? And is there and SIDS risks with taking the side off of a toddler bed?

    Thanks for your question about safer sleep and toddlers. We don’t have any research on SIDS and toddler beds.  In terms of the sides of a cot or toddler beds, there is no evidence to say it’s absence may increase the chance of SIDS, though it may well be an accident risk. Have a chat to the Child Accident Prevention Trust on 020 7608 3828 for more information on this. Hope that helps!

  • cherry pie

    hi,  i think that we commonly hear people saying their relatives/previous children/neighbours children etc etc were fine going in their own room at say 2 weeks old and 'it never did them any harm', just wondering if there is there any evidence of family history causing SIDS or is it more individual factors that contribute to SIDS risk.  

    also (a cheeky other question lol), whats the guidance of sleeping in car seats and why should babies not be left in car seats for extended periods of time?

    Hello Cherry Pie, thanks for your questions. We also hear the same confusion between people saying things like that! Thankfully, in this country, the vast majority of babies will not die of SIDS anymore, and some of those won't be following the advice. However, we know there is really strong evidence that following the advice can reduce the chance. The best way of explaining it had come out in recent years with something called the 'triple risk' theory that says there are 3 strands and when they come together you can have a baby who dies of SIDS. First area: something in a baby's development (for most babies this seems to be up to 6 months, which might explain that date issue). Second is something about that baby that makes them vulnerable - this mgiht be in their genetics, some weakness in their brain stem even...but we need more research on this and we currently have no way of identifying or treating babies who are more vulnerable. And the third area is the baby's environment - all our safe sleep advice. This si the one area as parents you can make a difference on, and maybe for a particularly baby one small change will make the difference. I hope that makes sense.

    It's also worth saying that yes, as adults born before 1991 many of us probably were slept on our fronts and maybe our parents did smoke etc and we survived - but overall far more babies were dying back then, and now we have much lower figures, so we are making a difference!

    And the cheeky question... babies are safest sleeping flat, where they can be kept cool, not overheat and can stretch out. But they are clearly also safest when in a car in a proper car seat so we don't say never use them of course! We've just funded some research looking at airways and car seats in prem babies, so watch this space! But I know one car seat manufacturer says 2 hours max and then a break. Although we don't have a set time ourselves, that sounds reasonable. We would then say once you are home transfer them to their cot or moses basket.

  • Bridget Gump

    Thanks for all your answers so far Jenny.

    Not sure if you're still here, if so is there any evidence that the breathing sensor monitors (angel care etc) have reduced the number of cases of SIDS, do you/TLT recommend them?

    Hello Bridget, yes I am still here!

    In terms of any types of breathing or movement monitors, there is no evidence that they prevent SIDS. We do give them out to families under our Care of Next Infant (CONI) programme, which supports parents who have a baby after having had a baby who died of SIDS. However, this is under guidance to ensure parents know they are not preventative but are there for parents' peace of mind. So in general we would say to be aware of what the monitor is for and what it can and can't do. And to make sure you still follow the advice, a monitor definitely wouldn't make up for not following the safe sleep advice!

  • A big thank you to Jenny for joining us today, your advice and insights are really valuable.  I will create a blog out of all these answers, so that members that weren't able to join the web chat can benefit from all the information.

    Thanks again, Sarah

  • Thank you Jenny, most informative!

  • Thank you Jenny, was very interesting reading!

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