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 taken from NSW Health, adapted from Raising Children Network - Babies: sleep safety.
Sharing a bed with your baby increases the risk of SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy) and fatal sleep accidents.
This risk is further increased if:
- you are excessively tired
- you or your partner are under the influence of sedative prescription or non-prescription drugs or alcohol
- You or your partner smoke
- Your baby is unwell with a respiratory illness
- Your baby is less than 3 months old
- Your baby was born small or prematurely.
Sleeping on a lounge or armchair is always unsafe.
If you would like support with helping your child to sleep safely, please call the Tresillian Parent's Help Line on 1300 272 736 or visit this page within our website: Settling Baby That Won't Sleep or the Raising Children website: Safe sleeping for babies: essential tips.