By Raising Children Network
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Safe sleeping positions

Put babies on their back to sleep, not on their tummy or side.
  • Sleeping babies on their backs can help reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). SIDS is also known as ‘cot death’.

  • Babies who sleep on their tummies are at a greater risk of SIDS. 

  • Sleeping on the side has also been associated with a greater risk of SIDS. Once your baby can roll over, put your baby to sleep on his back but let him find his own sleeping position.

 

Safe clothes and bedding

Sleep baby at the bottom of the cot; remove any pillows, toys or soft furnishings.
  • Use a firm, clean mattress that fits the cot well (a second-hand mattress is fine). Position your baby’s feet at the bottom of the cot and tuck in the bed clothes securely. Having the cot in your room for the first 6-12 months can help reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • Avoid quilts, doonas, lamb’s wool, pillows, soft toys, bumpers or anything that could cover your baby’s head during sleep.

 

Safe sleeping dos and don'ts

Do wrap baby; don't overdress baby; don't smoke near baby.
  • Wrapping in light cotton or muslin can help stop babies from rolling onto their tummies during sleep. Babies can be wrapped from birth until they can roll over (4-6 months). For the baby who doesn’t like to be wrapped, consider an infant sleeping bag.

  • Overheating has been linked with SIDS, so don’t overdress baby or put baby to bed wearing a beanie or hat. A good guide is to dress baby as you would dress yourself. Your baby should be comfortable and warm, but not hot.

  • There’s a strong link between SIDS and parents who smoke. Quitting is the best way to protect your baby from SIDS. But if you’re finding it hard to quit, smoke outside so baby doesn’t breathe harmful second-hand smoke. Call the Quit Line on 137 848 for help.

 
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  • Last Updated 15-02-2013
  • Last Reviewed 24-03-2013