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Consult your doctor if you are unable to make a diagnosis from this chart.

self-help Reducing the risk of SIDS

There are things you can do to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death. They are:

• Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back near the foot of the cot. This position is the safest, since he or she cannot wriggle under the bedclothes.

• Use a firm mattress with no pillow.

• Do not overwrap your baby in bedclothes.

• Do not place your baby's cot close to a radiator or other type of heater.

• Do not smoke in the presence of your baby.

Place baby on his or her back

Firm mattress

Place baby on his or her back

Firm mattress

Sleeping safely

Lay your baby down on his or her back at the foot of the cot, so that bedding cannot cover the face. Do not overwrap the baby.

Sleeping safely

Lay your baby down on his or her back at the foot of the cot, so that bedding cannot cover the face. Do not overwrap the baby.

possible causes You may find that sharing a room with your baby results in disturbed nights for both you and your baby. The problem may be that you make sounds that disturb your baby. However, it is more likely that you will be overaware of your baby's movements during sleep and may think that the little noises that babies often make in their sleep are signs of wakefulness. Many babies are restless sleepers and, if left undisturbed, will continue to sleep.

action If possible, move your baby into a different room. It is unlikely that you would fail to hear a true cry, but you are not so likely to be disturbed by less urgent sounds.

Does your baby seem unwell in any way? no self-help Helping older babies to sleep

Babies older than about 4 months are past the stage of needing frequent night feeds and benefit from a bedtime routine. It is best to be consistent and firm, but this should not prevent bedtimes from being fun. Your baby needs reassurance that separation from you at bedtime is not a punishment. Here are some tips for problem-free nights:

• Avoid too much excitement in the hour or so before bed.

• Provide a night-light if your baby seems frightened of the dark.

• Do not be too ready to go to your baby if you hear whimpering in the night. He or she may be making noises while asleep.

• If your baby cries at night, settle him or her as quickly and quietly as possible.

Could your baby be waking because he or she is hungry?

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Could your baby be too cold or hot during the night?

Has there been any recent domestic upheaval or possible cause of anxiety?

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