POSITION – You should always place your baby on their back to sleep and not on their front or side.
Sleeping your baby on their back (known as the supine position) every night is one of the most protective actions you can take to ensure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible. Sleep your baby in the feet-to-foot position and avoid using soft or bulky bedding such as quilts, pillows and duvets.
There is substantial evidence from around the world to show that laying your baby on their back at the beginning of every sleep or nap (day and night) significantly reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
MATTRESSES & BEDDING – You should use a firm and flat mattress that is protected by a waterproof cover. This will help keep the mattress clean and dry, as the cover can be wiped down.
Make sure your baby’s mattress is in good condition and that it fits the Moses basket or cot properly. Pillow use alone has been shown to increase the chance of SIDS occurring by up to 2.5 times.
Some parents choose to use a pillow with their baby due to concerns for plagiocephaly (or ‘flat head syndrome’). There are techniques you can use that could help plagiocephaly which will not increase the risk of SIDS. Plagiocephaly usually corrects itself within a year, but if you feel it is severe you may want to speak to your health professional.
It can be common to use a second-hand mattress either from friends and family, or from your previous children. There is some research that found an increased chance of SIDS when using a second-hand mattress brought in from outside of the family home, although the link is not yet proven.
To help reduce this risk, if you are using a second-hand mattress make sure the mattress you choose was previously completely protected by a waterproof cover, with no rips or tears and is in good condition. The mattress should also still be firm and flat to keep your baby sleeping safely.
Avoid using bulky bedding. Some parents chose to use a sleeping back, these prevent the baby from sliding down whist asleep. If you use sheets and blankets make sure they are well tucked in and not about shoulder height.