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How to put your baby to sleep safely – Safe Sleeping Guidelines

Baby sleeping on back in cotEach year in Australia more than 3500 families experience something no parent should have to endure … the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child.

These tragedies occur either through stillbirth or during the first month of life, from sudden unexpected death in infancy (SIDS or fatal sleeping accidents), SUDC (sudden unexpected death in childhood) or by accident.

In many cases the cause are unknown.

SIDS & Kids aims to arm parents with the best possible information to help reduce the risk of SIDS. The Safe Sleeping Campaign was introduced in 1990 and from 1989-2010 the rate of SIDS has decreased by 80 per cent. The campaign provides up-to-date information about the evidence to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and fatal sleeping accidents.

How to put your baby to sleep safely

Safe Sleeping – 6 ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents

  1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
  2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
  3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
  4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
  5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to 12 months
  6. Breastfeed baby

Safe Sleeping – Making up your baby’s cot

Safe sleeping guidelines baby

  • Make sure your baby’s head remains uncovered during sleep
  • Use a firm, clean and flat mattress (not elevated or tilted) and make sure it’s the right size for the cot.
  • Tuck in your baby’s blankets in firmly or use a safe baby sleeping bag
  • Make sure your cot meets the current Australian Standard (AS2172)
  • Position your baby’s feet at the bottom of the cot.
  • Put your baby to sleep on their back.
  • Do not use pillows, doonas, soft toys, cot bumpers or lambswool anywhere in the cot.
  • Do not put your baby to sleep on a water bed or bean bag.

Safe sleeping – Other hazards to watch out for

The following are things to look out for and avoid where your toddler or baby sleeps – both during the night and for any daytime naps.

Remember to look for these things in your home and anywhere your child is cared for – including day care, childcare centres and the homes of family and friends.

  • an unsupervised adult bed may be unsafe for babies or toddlers if they get caught under adult bedding or pillows, get trapped between the wall and the bed, fall out of bed, are rolled on by someone who sleeps very deeply or who is affected by drugs and alcohol
  • soft sleeping places where a toddler’s or baby’s face may get covered, falling asleep with the baby while on a couch, pillows, cushions or tri-pillows are too soft and can cover baby’s face, don’t put your baby or toddler on a waterbed or beanbag.
  • dangling cords or string near cot – keep the cot away from any cords hanging from blinds, curtains or electrical appliances
  • keep heaters and electrical appliances well away from the cot to avoid the risk of overheating, burns and electrocution
  • prams, strollers and bouncers where restraints are not done up

– this article was supplied by SIDS and Kids

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