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Press release

'Sleep on the back, play on the front, sit up and watch the world'

Leading cot death charity launches new baby care campaign.

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), the UK's leading cot death charity, today launched new baby care advice: 'sleep on the back, play on the front, sit up and watch the world'.

With this new campaign message, FSID is alerting parents that their babies need supervised time playing on their tummy to encourage their developmental stages. It also reinforces the all-important back sleeping advice to reduce the risk of cot death.

International research shows unequivocally that back sleeping is safest for babies – those who front sleep are eight times more likely to die as a cot death . But studies also show that babies who do not get front playing time, while awake, do not develop their motor skills as well as babies who do play on the front .

NOTE: babies should be supervised while playing on their front in case they fall asleep.

FSID is joining forces with Toys "R" Us, Britain's biggest toy and baby care superstore, to promote this new advice to parents on care for their babies.

Joyce Epstein, FSID's Director, said: 
We know that parents proudly tick off their babies' developmental milestones, and this important message will help babies grow up healthy and happy. Many parents now know that babies should sleep on their backs but are unsure about the safety of front-playing. With Toys "R" Us helping FSID promote the message 'Sleep on the back, play on the front, sit up and watch the world' we are telling parents that not only is supervised front-playing OK, it is to be encouraged".

Mike Coogan at Toys "R" Us added:
"Interaction through play is fun for you and your baby, and this is the message we want to promote to parents through our range of Bruin toys , hand in hand with FSID's safer sleeping and developmental advice".

Advice on reducing the risk of cot death is available on FSID's 24 hour helpline 020 7233 2090.

We are indebted to Health Promotion England for their help in compiling this section.