The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is very concerned about some of the child rearing practices portrayed on the Channel 4 programme 'Bringing up Baby' and in particular sleeping arrangements. There is good evidence about the best sleeping arrangements to minimise cot death and the programme fails to makes this clear.
We strongly advise viewers who are considering any of the methods shown in the programme to read the Department of Health's guidance on reducing the risk of cot death
The RCPCH firmly support these guidelines and most importantly:
• Place your baby on the back to sleep, in a cot in a room with you
• Cut smoking in pregnancy – fathers too!
• Do not let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby
• Do not let your baby get too hot
• Keep your baby’s head uncovered – place your baby in the 'feet to foot' position
• Do not share a bed with your baby if you have been drinking alcohol, take drugs or if you are a smoker
• If your baby is unwell, seek prompt advice.
The RCPCH also strongly encourages breastfeeding as there are clear proven health benefits to both the baby and mother. Breastfeeding provides babies with optimal nutrition and helps protect them from infection in the first six months of their life. Nothing comes close to breast milk for the advantages it offers, and we hope that more mothers will make it their first choice for infant feeding.
Notes to editors:
- Department of Health - 'Reduce the risk of cot death: An easy guide' (2007 edition) - (http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_4123625
- RCPCH was not approached for expert medical advice by the programme makers.
- RCPCH supports the Breastfeeding Manifesto - http://www.bestbeginnings.info/
Head of Media Affairs
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
50 Hallam Street
Leading the way in children's health