To reduce the incidence of SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents in Australia, SIDS and Kids educates the public in safe sleeping practices for babies. Here are their guidelines:
- Sleep your baby on his back from birth, not on his tummy or side.
- Sleep your baby with his face and head uncovered and free from bedding, pillows and toys.
- Avoid exposing your baby to tobacco smoke before birth and after.
- Provide a safe sleeping environment with safe furniture and bedding: this means no quilts, doonas, duvets or pillows in cot.
- Sleep your baby in his own safe sleeping place in the same room as you for the first six to twelve months.
- Breastfeed if you can.
Other environments: prams, bouncers and cars
- Always do up the restraints when your baby is in a pram, stroller, bouncer or any other baby/toddler equipment - it can be dangerous if she gets tangled in loose restraints.
- Make sure the footrest on the stroller is strong and secure. A weak footrest may give way and cause your baby to become trapped.
- Hats or bonnets should be removed when your baby is taken indoors.
- Avoid covering the pram or stroller with a blanket or sheet, as it can create an unsafe and hot environment for your baby, with little airflow.
- Remember: practice safe sleeping principles in all environments. It's not safe for a baby or child to sleep unattended in a pram, baby rocker or bouncer.
- Tummy time is encouraged when baby is awake and supervised by an adult.
- Tummy time is important to baby's development as it strengthens muscles.
- Place your baby on his tummy or side to play.
- Move toys around to keep baby active and stimulated.
- Place your baby on her back to sleep from birth.
- Sleep your baby with her face and head uncovered at all times.
- Dress your baby in clothing appropriate for the weather.
- Encourage tummy time when your baby is awake and being supervised by an adult.
- Never sleep your baby on his tummy or side in any environment, even when resting on an adult's chest.
- Never leave your baby surrounded by loose bedding, toys or clothing.
- Don't sleep yoor baby on a tri-pillow (boomerang pillow), bean bag or hammock.
- Don't expose your baby to cigarette smoke.
Find more safe sleeping practices, research and education programs on the SIDS and Kids website.