Safe Sleeping

How to Sleep your Baby Safely:

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 twelve months

6. Breastfeed baby

Safe Sleeping Resources

You can download the following Safe Sleeping resources as PDFs by clicking the images below:

Safe Sleeping Long Brochure Safe Sleeping Easy Read Safe Sleeping Poster Tummy Time Brochure

Tummy Time Poster Safe Wrapping Brochure Safe Wrapping Poster Safe Sleeping Door Hanger

Cot to Bed Safety Brochure

SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping app

SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping application provides new and expectant mothers, carers and health care professionals with vital information on how to sleep baby safely and reduce the risk of sudden unexpected death in infants and fatal sleeping accidents. It also includes valuable information on Tummy Time and Safe Wrapping and links to our FAQs and the SIDS and Kids website for further information and support.

The app can be used in the following languages: English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hindi and Arabic. Download through either the App Store or Google Play using the links below.

SIDS and Kids Cot to Bed Safety app

The SIDS and Kids Cot to Bed Safety app for iPhone and Android provides information on when to move a child from a cot to a bed, what type of bed to use, and how to provide a safe environment for a child.

The app can be used in the following languages: English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hindi and Arabic

Download the app below through the App Store or Google Play.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resources from the Northern Territory

Taking Care of your Baby.pdf

About SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping

SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping is an evidence-based health promotion campaign developed for health professionals, childcare workers, new and expectant mothers, parents and anyone who cares for babies and infants.The campaign has been developed in conjunction with researchers from Australasia and internationally and provides information about the evidence around sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) risk reduction and fatal sleeping accidents.

Since its inception in the early 1990s, the campaign has reduced the incidence of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy by 80% saving 7,990 babies’ lives. Vigilance is still required in delivering our Safe Sleeping message to the broad community as sadly the cause of sudden infant death syndrome remains unknown with more research into the cause still needed.

ALERT! How firm should the mattress be?

April 2014

There is a new AS/NZS Voluntary Standard: Methods of testing infant products – Sleep surfaces – Test for firmness. Use a firm sleep surface that is compliant with this standard.

Dr Ron Somers from South Australia introduced in his research, ‘Safer Infant Sleep Surfaces: Defining the concept of “firm enough”: “The incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may have improved greatly, but a proportion of infants continue to die as the result of suffocation in sleep-related circumstances. In the USA, for example, the infant mortality rate attributed to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed increased four fold between 1984 and 2004. The reason for the increase is unknown. Some obvious risk factors remain to be addressed, including cot firmness, or more generally the firmness of any product intended primarily for infant use.

“As at this writing there are no national or international guidelines available to help consumers and regulators distinguish between the firmer and less firm ends of the infant-product spectrum. An increasing number of innovative products are coming onto the Australian market, some of which are clearly hazardous.  Whereas best practice in infant care specifies a “firm mattress”, there is presently no definition of what is firm enough.”

In 2013, an Australia/New Zealand Standard was published, the first such sleep surface firmness advice in the world. (AS/NZS 8811.1:2013.  Methods of testing infant products – Part 1: Sleep surfaces – Test for firmness).

SIDS and Kids will be updating our information to incorporate mention of the voluntary standard and encourage parents and carers to ask before they purchase a mattress or product to sleep baby on, “Is this firm enough? Is this product compliant with the new Voluntary Standard AS/NZS 8811.1:2013?”

For further information, Ron Somers has provided two online resources about ensuring adequate mattress firmness: the WikiHow site and the more recent two-minute YouTube video.

Alert: Dangers of Using Baby Bean Bags as Bedding

April 2013

The rising popularity of baby bean bags has prompted the Queensland Office of Fair Trading to issue a warning about the potential risks associated with these products.

Office of Fair Trading product safety expert David Strachan said bean bags of any kind should never be used for a baby to sleep or nap in, as this could cause suffocation.

“The polystyrene beads that fill the bean bag can contour around a baby’s face, blocking the airways,” Mr Strachan said.

“Bean bags should only be used under the strictest supervision for babies under 12 months of age. Babies should only be placed to sleep or nap in a cot that meets Australian Standards.”

The warning is also supported by SIDS and Kids’ new information statement Sleeping Position for Babies with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux (GOR).

This information statement speaks to the evidence that:

- Babies with GOR should be placed to sleep on their back from birth on a firm, flat mattress that is not elevated.

- Elevating the sleeping surface for back sleeping babies does not reduce gastro oesophageal reflux and is not recommended

View the information statement Sleeping Position for Babies with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux (GOR) here.

The Office of Fair Trading’s media statement can be downloaded here.

Co-sleeping and SIDS

Watch the ABC News report on co-sleeping and sudden infant death syndrome.

The Dangers of Hooded Sleeping Bags

Watch the Nine News report on the dangers of hooded sleeping bags for babies. Includes interview with SIDS and Kids CEO Leanne Raven.

Keeping Baby Safe : a guide to infant and nursery products by the Australian Government

This is an Australian Government publication providing information to help you make sure your child’s nursery is a safe place.

The current version was released in 2013 and is available from the Australian Competition and Consumer website here in the following formats: PDF, hardcopy booklet, eBook on iTunes, iPhone and iPad app.

You can also view the related video on cot safety below.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby is a free telephone helpline and online service for pregnant women and new parents who have a baby up to 12 months of age.

Information and advice is provided on topics such as maternal nutrition, breast feeding, a baby’s development and sleeping habits as well as direction to related services including specialist and support services.

Women and their families who are facing other challenges, such as emotional distress, perinatal issues, and questions about pregnancy options, can also call the PBB helpline to be transferred to qualified counsellors. Counsellors are available from 7am to 12pm midnight daily, free of charge, to offer non-judgmental, confidential support.

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 or visit the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website.

SIDS and Kids is a partner of Healthdirect Australia, which provides the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby helpline and website.

Using Baby Slings Safely

Carry with care: How to keep your baby safe in a sling is a short video about how to position your baby safely in a sling. View it on YouTube here. For more information and resources, including a flyer and poster, visit

For more information on Safe Sleeping contact SIDS and Kids in your State or Territory call 1300 308 307.


Interview with Professor Heather Jeffery, member of the SIDS and Kids National Scientific Advisory Group (NSAG) providing current information on SIDS and Safe Sleeping.
Last modified: 28 August 2014
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