When a baby dies unexpectedly and for no obvious reason, it’s often described as sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI). SUDI is a broad term that includes SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents.
Make sure babies’ heads or faces can’t get covered while they’re sleeping
Put your baby low down in the cot, so her feet are near the bottom end. Tuck in the bed sheets securely so they can’t cover your baby’s head. You could use a safe infant sleeping bag instead of blankets. Sleeping bags with a fitted neck and armholes and no hood are the safest.
Avoid cot bumpers, soft toys, pillows, doonas, and sheepskin or lamb’s wool
Babies have been suffocated by rolling into or being covered by these soft objects. It’s safest to keep them out of your baby’s cot.
Use a firm and well-fitting mattress
Make sure there are no gaps between the mattress and the edge of the cot, where a baby’s head could get jammed. Don’t use padding or underlays like sheepskin. If you’re using a portable cot, use only the firm, thin, well-fitting mattress that comes with it. Don’t add a second mattress.
Avoid baby sleeping on couches or makeshift bedding
Sleeping on a couch, with or without someone else, is very dangerous for babies. Also take care with makeshift bedding. Some situations where your baby might be in danger include getting wedged between a mattress and a wall, getting stuck between pillows or cushions, or slipping down until his head is covered by blankets.
Dress your baby in clothing that’s warm, but not hot
Overheating is a risk factor for SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents. Ask yourself what you would wear to bed and use that as a guide. Keep your baby’s head uncovered indoors – this allows your baby to cool and not overheat. Don’t worry if your baby’s hands and feet feel cool – that’s normal.
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