Special bibs give plenty of baby tips

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Parents are being given special bibs for their newborns offering advice to help ensure babies sleep safely.

They are emblazoned with reminders that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in its own cot, next to its parents' bed for the first six months of its life.

The bibs have been produced as part of the Safer Portsmouth Babies campaign and are being handed out by health visitors with leaflets highlighting measures parents can take to protect their newborns.

It is hoped the year-long drive will help cut the number of cot deaths in the Portsmouth area, where five babies died in a year.

Other steps include urging parents not to sleep with their baby, laying their baby on its back with its feet to the foot of the cot, using blankets or sheets instead of duvets for the first year and ensuring bedding does not cover the baby's head.

There should be no gaps in the side of the cot, parents should avoid overdressing their babies and they should use a room thermometer.

People who smoke should avoid exposing their babies to the fumes, and they are reminded to be aware they will need to respond to their child's needs even if under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust spokeswoman Pat Forsyth said: 'These bibs are being distributed by health visitors at the new birth visit to remind parents that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in its own cot, close to its parents' bed, in the same room as its parents, for the first six months.

'It is hoped the bibs will be a reminder to all parents that co-sleeping, particularly on a sofa, can be dangerous.'