Tragically some babies die unexpectedly and for no obvious reason in their sleep.

You can reduce the risk for your baby by following these safe sleeping recommendations every time you place your baby to sleep.

  • Place your baby on their back to sleep.
  • Your baby should have their own cot that meets the Australian safety standard and has a firm, well fitted mattress.
  • Sleep your baby in your bedroom at night for the first six to 12 months of life.
  • Do not let your baby sleep on the couch or an armchair, especially with another person.
  • Make sure your baby's head and face cannot become covered while sleeping to prevent suffocation or overheating. Tuck in sheets and blankets or use a safe infant sleeping bag. Do not use a doona, cot bumper, mattress padding, sheep skin or leave soft toys in the cot.
  • Dress your baby to be comfortably warm but not hot, to avoid overheating.
  • Breastfeed your baby for the first six months where possible.
  • Don't smoke during pregnancy or after your child is born and don't allow anyone to smoke near your baby.
  • Make sure anyone who looks after your baby understands these safe sleeping recommendations.

The recommended safe sleeping practices are adapted from Raising Children's Sleep Safety.

Parents sleeping in a bed. A baby is asleep in a cot next to the bed, lying on its back.

Current as at: Monday 27 February 2023
Contact page owner: Maternity, Child and Family