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Safe Sleeping for Babies: What You Need to Know

As a parent, it’s vital you know the ways you can promote safe sleeping for your baby. We’ve gathered information from NZ specialists to help you keep your baby safe when sleeping.

We can’t stress how important it is knowing the safe sleeping practices for your baby. Each year in NZ, many babies die when sleeping and often these deaths are preventable. Called Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infants (SUDI), there are three main types within in:

  • SIDS -  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – when after an autopsy, there is no identifiable cause of death
  • Unintentional suffocation – where a baby died due to accidental suffocation
  • Other deaths – due to a previously undiagnosed medical condition, such as heart disease or meningitis, but diagnosed during an autopsy

With more than 30 infant deaths each year attributed to SUDI, it’s vital you do everything you can to prevent it occurring to your little one. Today we’re going to share how to do this.

Ways of Safe Sleeping for Babies

We’ve gathered information from the experts to help you keep your baby safe when sleeping. Here’s what they said:

Starship Child Health – up to two years old:

  • Sleep face up and with the face clear
  • Sleep in a cot
  • Keep the cot clear of toys
  • Do not sleep in the same bed as your child
  • Pillows should not be used until the child is at least one year old


  • Keep your baby smokefree
  • Immunise your baby according to the recommended schedule
  • Breastfeed your baby
  • Keep your baby on their back to sleep
  • Ensure your baby has an adult with them at all times who is drug and alcohol free
  • Use a firm and flat mattress in the cot
  • The cot has nothing in it which could cover the baby’s face or lift their head


  • Make sure that you only use safe toys in a cot
  • Provide a safe sleeping space

SafeKids Aotearoa

  • Remember the ABCs of safe sleeping for babies:
    • A – alone
    • B – on their backs
    • C – in a cot every time

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