How to choose baby sleeping products

All your baby needs for a safer night’s sleep

There are so many baby products on the market to choose from it can be really difficult to make a choice about what to buy. The good news is that to give your baby a safer night’s sleep there are just a few items that you need. Please watch this video for advice.

There are a large number of sleeping products on the market so we have put together some guidelines to help you make an informed choice.

Choosing what items your baby might need can be overwhelming. To help with this we have put together a product guide with information on how to choose the products or items your baby needs to reduce the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), what types of products you should avoid and what the marketing actually means.

The following  information is the Lullaby Trust evidence-based advice on choosing baby sleeping products

The number of products available can be confusing, so sticking to this simple guideline can help parents make an informed choice:

The safest place for a baby to sleep is a separate cot, crib or Moses basket. The Lullaby Trust recommend a firm, flat, waterproof mattress.

The research that backs up our safer sleep advice has found that the safest environment for a baby to sleep is a separate sleeping place (such as a cot) that has a firm, flat surface with a waterproof cover, and that the sleeping surface is in good condition and undamaged.


Things to check

Does the item comply with British Standards? If so, it should say on the product itself, its packaging, instructions or website.

If the item is something for your baby to sleep on such as a mattress, is it:

  • firm? (baby’s head should not sink in by more than a few millimetres)
  • entirely flat with no raised or cushioned areas?
  • does it have a waterproof cover?

A few essentials that you need

For safer sleep you don’t need to buy lots of products or spend more on expensive items. There are just a few items that we would recommend

  • cot or Moses basket
  • portable sleep space such as Moses basket, travel cot or carry cot
  • mattress
  • sleeping bag or sheets and a blanket
  • room thermometer
  • car seat

Products that we would advise you not to buy

There are some items that we would NOT recommend

  • pods or nests
  • pillows, duvets or thick heavy bedding
  • cot bumpers
  • hammocks
  • sleep positioners

Frequently asked questions

Is this product safe?

The Lullaby Trust have put together a product guide on what to look for and what to avoid when buying sleeping products for your baby.

Please click here

The key things are to make sure the mattress is firm, entirely flat with no raised or cushioned areas and waterproof and the cot is kept free of bumpers, toys and loose bedding. Pillows and duvets should not be used for babies under 12 months.

This product claims no baby has ever died of SIDS whilst using it?

The Lullaby Trust safer sleep advice is based on extensive research but the research only looks at SIDS, not individual products. As new products are launched all the time, it would not be possible for them to to test them and so they have looked at the evidence collected over many years that shows a firm and flat surface is best for sleeping babies.

As the number of babies dying of SIDS in the UK is now thankfully very low, this does not help to tell us whether or not a product is safe.

This product says it has passed safety tests – does this refer to Safer Sleep?

We encourage parents to make sure that any product they buy has a British Standard, particularly when buying a product over the internet. A British Standard does not mean that a product helps to reduce the chance of SIDS, but just guarantees a certain level of general safety (e.g. will not fall apart or set fire easily). You should also carefully follow the manufacturers’ instructions for any product you buy and contact the manufacturer directly with any questions.

Still confused about a baby sleeping product?

If this advice seems confusing then it may be easier to remember our simple sleep advice. For sleep, a ‘clear cot’ with a firm, flat, waterproof mattress is fine.

A ‘clear cot’ is one that only includes the essentials a baby needs: a flat, waterproof mattress and some bedding, but nothing else. Three key questions you could ask are:

  • Is it firm?
  • Is it flat?
  • Does it have a waterproof cover?

For advice can be found at the Lullaby Trust website. Please click here

Improving the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children and young people throughout Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area.

(N.B: The Family and Therapies team at ABUHB is NOT responsible for the content on the webpage links that we refer to in our resource sections and linked information to external sites. All information was accurate and appropriate at the time the webpage was created.)

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