1. Newborns
  2. Sleep
  3. Sleep safety

Reducing SUDI and SIDS risk: in pictures

0-18 months

Safe sleeping positions

Sleeping babies on their backs cuts the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents.

Babies who sleep on their tummies are at greater risk of SUDI. 

Sleeping on the side is a SUDI risk. It’s OK for older babies to roll, but put your baby to sleep on his back.

Safe sleeping environment

Use a mattress that is flat, firm and fits the cot well. Put your baby’s feet at the bottom of the cot and tuck in the sheets securely. Have the cot in your room for the first 6-12 months.

Don’t use quilts, doonas, lamb’s wool, pillows, soft toys, bumpers or anything that could cover your baby’s head during sleep. Don’t let baby sleep on a couch or armchair.

More ways to reduce SUDI risk

If you can, breastfeed your baby or feed your baby with expressed breastmilk for the first six months. Breastfeeding reduces SUDI risk by more than half. 

Overheating is a SUDI risk. Don’t overdress baby or put baby to bed in a hat or hood. Dress baby as you would dress yourself. Baby should be warm but not hot.

There’s a strong link between SUDI and parents who smoke. If you’re finding it hard to quit smoking, call Quitline on 137 848 for help.

Languages other than English

Rate this article (612 ratings)

Tap the stars to rate this article.

Thanks for rating this article.

Last updated or reviewed

  • Tell us what you think

Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

Follow us

© 2006-2018 Raising Children Network (Australia) Ltd