Safe sleep ... sticking to the SIDS and Kids guidelines can help reduce the risk of premature death.
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.