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 Network - Babies: sleep safety

Before using a baby carrier, sling or pouch, parents and carers should be aware that babies who are born premature, of low birth weight, are unwell, or are under four months of age are at greater risk of suffocation. Care givers should be advised to talk with their child and family health nurse, GP or paediatrician before using a baby carrier, sling or pouch. For more information on safe use of these devices visit Raising Children Network - Baby carriers, slings and backpacks: safety guide


Current as at: Thursday 30 September 2021
Contact page owner: Maternity, Child and Family