Safety and sleep: three common places to NEVER let your newborn rest
A few newborn babies sleep a lot for long stretches. More sleep only sometimes. Others sleep, well, just about never.
Still, no matter what the routine of your little one, there are some places that you should NEVER allow them to rest.
Sure, it's tempting to leave them be if they've drifted off, but these three key areas are potentially hazardous - even fatal.
"The safest place for your baby to sleep at night," the HSE warns, "is in a cot in your room – bed-sharing can be dangerous."
However, it also emphasises: "Cot death is still quite rare so while it is important to take all the necessary precautions, do not let fear spoil precious times with your baby."
Here's where to look out for if you have a small one aged six months or younger...
1) A car seat
They drift off in the car... and it's tempting to leave them be as they slumber. Of course, if they're in a car, then absolutely the safest place for them is in their seat. But babies shouldn't remain there once the vehicle has stopped moving. Small babies are usually accommodating enough when it comes to swapping them over them from A to B; if they're fast asleep transfer them from their seat to their Moses basket or cot - where they'll be much safer.
2) A bouncer
Their bouncer: they'll either love it or hate it - and if it's the former, you might find them drifting off as they rock. A bouncer should not be used as a cot substitute, however. Sure, it's OK to leave them where they are if they do fall asleep - but you need to supervise them fully for the duration of their rest. That means not leaving them - even for a moment- unattended in the bouncer.
3) A sofa
Arguably the most dangerous place you can let your newborn sleep - sofas and couches can be fatal because of the risk of accidental suffocation or injury. On a sofa, a baby can easily roll off and hurt themselves. That and, more importantly, several studies strongly link sleeping on a sofa or a couch to an increased risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths. It doesn't matter if you're on the couch with them or not - the danger remains the same.
For more information on safe sleeping for your baby, see the HSE's website here.