CSCP 5 Minute Briefing - Safer Sleeping and ICON

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CSCP 5 minute briefing

Fathers and Safer Sleeping

father holding baby

Fathers often have a key role in the care of their baby, in some cases they are the primary carer. It is therefore crucial they understand how to reduce the risk of SIDS and sleep their baby safely.

Figures from a survey commissioned by the Lullaby Trust suggest that Dads are not being engaged with safer sleep information in the same way as Mothers. The survey found that less than a third of dads are being given information on the basic steps they can take to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

It’s important that as professionals we reach fathers and deliver information in a way that will be helpful to them. We want all parents to understand SIDS and feel confident that they are able to reduce the risk for their child.

Although the cause of SIDS is still not known there are steps parents can take to lower the risk. Awareness of SIDS and following safer sleep advice is crucial to reducing the rate of babies dying. Since the guidelines were made known to the public through the 1991 Back to Sleep campaign the rate of SIDS has gone down by over 80% overall.

Resources to share with parents

  • The Safer Sleep for Baby – 6 steps to safer sleeping can be accessed on our website here
  • The Lullaby Trust also have a range of resources for use with parents that can be accessed here

ICON and abusive head trauma

abusive head trauma youtube

Abusive Head Trauma (AHT), previously known as Shaken Baby Syndrome, is a devastating form of child abuse.


  • Abusive Head Trauma is abuse and is preventable.
  • AHT is the most common cause of death or long- term disability in babies
  • 24 out of 100, 000 hospital admissions for babies are due to abusive head trauma
  • Research points to persistent crying in babies being a potential trigger for some parents/care givers to lose control and shake a baby.
  • It also shows that around 70% of babies who are shaken are shaken by men.

What are the key messages we can share with parents/carers?

  • Crying is a normal part of child development
  • All babies will cry a lot from the ages of 2 weeks to 3-4 months, but this can vary from baby to baby.
  • Crying seems to peak in the late afternoon and early evening… but this can vary
  • Help parents understand that crying is normal… all parents can feel like this
  • Reassure parents that babies are not doing this on purpose


Infant Crying and How to Cope Information Leaflet

Follow the ICON guidance for coping with crying