Mattresses and bedding - Little Lullaby
Little Lullaby

Mattresses and bedding

Babies need just a few basic items for safer sleep, including a firm, flat, waterproof mattress and some bedding.

Little Lullaby
Little Lullaby

Babies need just a few basic items for safer sleep, including a firm, flat, waterproof mattress and some bedding.  

We advise using blankets which are firmly tucked in, no higher than the baby’s shoulders or a baby sleeping bag. Please keep the following information in mind when buying sleep products for your baby.

Use a firm, flat and waterproof mattress

You should use a firm and flat mattress with no raised or cushioned areas that’s protected by a waterproof cover. This will help keep the mattress clean and dry.

It’s important to make sure that your baby’s mattress is in good condition and that it fits the Moses basket or cot correctly with no gaps between the sides.

Avoid sleeping your baby on softer surfaces such as pods or nests. Sleeping on a soft surface makes it hard for baby to lose heat. Getting too hot puts baby at a higher risk of SIDS.

Don’t using soft or bulky bedding

For bedding, all you need is firmly tucked in sheets and blankets (not above shoulder height) or a baby sleep bag for your baby to sleep in. You should also remove any soft toys from their cot before placing baby down to sleep.

Please also avoid using soft or bulky bedding such as quilts, pillows and duvets as this can lead to baby getting too hot.

Pillows and the risk of SIDS

Pillow use has been shown to increase the chance of SIDS occurring by up to 2.5 times.

Some parents use a pillow as they’re concerned about plagiocephaly (or ‘flat head syndrome’). There are techniques you can use that could help plagiocephaly which will not increase the risk of SIDS.

Plagiocephaly normally corrects itself within a year, but if you are worried, we would advise speaking to your GP or a health professional.

Can I use a second-hand mattress?

We understand that many parents  use a second-hand mattress either from your previous children or from family or friends.

Some research has found an increased chance of SIDS when using a second-hand mattress brought in from outside of the family home.

To help decrease this risk, if you use a second-hand mattress make sure the mattress you use is previously completely protected by a waterproof cover, with no rips or tears and is in good condition. The mattress should also still be firm and flat.

Hear from our young parents who explain how to safely use second-hand sleeping products for babies.

Do not use a cot bumper

Cot bumpers can increase the risk of an accident to your baby once they begin to roll and move about their cot. There have been a number of cases in the UK and abroad where babies have become entangled in the ties and material, or fallen from pulling themselves up on the bumpers. It’s important to remember that a clear cot is a safer cot.

Please read our fact sheet on mattresses and bedding.

If you have any questions about safer sleep advice, mattresses and bedding, please feel free to get in touch at info@littlelullaby.org.uk.