Babysitters may put infants at risk of cot death by placing them in unsafe sleeping positions.

Newborns who die from sudden infant death syndrome while under the supervision of a childcare worker are more likely to be placed lying on their fronts, a study found, according to Daily Mail.

Infants who die under the care of a nanny are also more likely to have objects, such as toys and blankets, in their crib, the research adds. Such items raise the risk of suffocation or strangulation.

Study author Dr Rachel Moon, from the University of Virginia, said: ‘If someone else – a babysitter, relative or friend – is taking care of your baby, please make sure that they know to place your baby on their back in a crib and without any bedding.’

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Study author Dr Jeffrey Colvin said: ‘A lot of relatives and friends may not be aware that babies are safest on their backs.

‘They may have raised children before we knew that this was safest.

Discuss where and how your baby needs to sleep!

Dr Moon added: ‘It’s always best to discuss where and how your baby should sleep.

‘You can’t make assumptions that the person with whom your baby is staying will know what is safest.’

Researchers believe babysitters may wrongly assume infants are more comfortable or less at risk of choking when lying on their fronts.

The researchers analysed data on 10,490 babies under one-year-old who died while asleep between 2004 and 2014.

They assessed who was caring for the infants, and if any risk factors were present, such as toys in the crib, at the time of their passing.

Sleep position and location were also investigated.

The findings were published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Share your comments below

  • One of our babies has rolled herself over onto her stomach during her sleep a few times. In fact sometimes she sleeps with her knees under her. She is over 12 months old and moves around a fair bit in the warmer weather. I think she is moving to a cooler spot of the mattress – away from her own body heat.


  • I am surprised but a good awareness campaign.


  • All my sons babysitters were fantastic at following instructions. I know my sister had huge issues with her MIL with stuff like this.


  • How sad that babies under the supervision of a childcare worker are more likely to be placed lying on their fronts or have objects placed in their cots, this should not be the case ! So important the person you entrust your baby with, knows your routine and your baby. Concerning that childcare workers don’t know better !!


  • This scares me. I hate the ‘well that’s what we did and all of our kids are fine’ that’s great but why take the chance. I’m really paranoid about leaving bub for this reason.

    • I agree – ” that’s what we did in my day and back when” comments are not helpful. Times and methods progress! In this instance near enough is not good enough.


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