London - Thousands of parents may be putting their babies in danger by nodding off with them on a couch or armchair.
Sleeping this way can raise a baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome 50 times.
But a survey has found that two in five parents have done so – and a quarter have done it more than once.
Parents are advised to put babies to sleep in a bed or cot because a firm mattress allows heat to escape from the backs of their heads. When a baby’s head sinks into a soft chair, the heat cannot escape so well, raising the risk of overheating.
Some experts believe this is one of the causes of sudden infant death syndrome, known as SIDS – the unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby.