safe motherhood


How many bedclothes?

Small babies cannot yet control their own temperature, so it's important to prevent them getting either too hot or too cold. Overheating is known to be a factor in cot death. (See Sleeping safely/cot death)

When putting your baby to bed remember the following points:

• If the room is warm enough for you to wear light clothing, then it's the right temperature (about 18˚C or 64˚F).

• If the room feels hot, keep your baby's clothes or bed covering light.

• At night give your baby one more light layer of clothing (or bedding) than you're wearing. So if you're in a T-shirt and jumper, dress your baby in a vest, stretchsuit and cardigan - or put three layers on the bed.

• A folded blanket equals two layers.

• Don't use duvets or quilts until your baby is a year old as these get too hot - use cotton cellular blankets that can easily be added on or taken off.

• Keep your baby's head uncovered (unless it's very cold) because he or she will need to lose heat from their head and face.

• Never use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket, or put the cot against a radiator. Babies have very delicate skin and can be easily scaled.

• Ill or feverish babies don't need extra bedding - in fact, they need less.

• Keep the bedding and mattress clean, dry and well aired.

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