Home › Health Topics › Safety & First Aid > 

Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy (SUDI) - including SIDS

SIDS; sudden; infant; death; syndrome; unexplained; SUDI; infancy;;


What you can do to reduce the risk

  • Put baby down on the back to sleep from birth. 
  • Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
  • Avoid exposing babies to cigarette smoke before birth and after.
  • Sleep baby in a safe cot and in a safe environment.
  • Sleep baby in its own safe cot or bassinette in parent's room for the first 6 - 12 months.
  • Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI). https://rednose.com.au/article/breastfeeding

To read more

 Red Nose https://rednose.com.au/ 

What not to do

The things which make it more likely a baby will die from a sudden unexpected death (SIDS or a fatal sleep accident) are:

  • sleeping a baby on the tummy or side
  • sleeping a baby on a soft surface, eg a soft mattress, pillow, bean bag or water bed
  • sharing a bed with a parent or other person (Red Nose Information Statement 'Sharing a sleep surface with a baby' )
  • sleeping a baby on a sofa (with or without a parent)
  • loose bedding and puffy bedding
  • sleeping baby with face or head covered
  • exposing babies to tobacco smoke before birth or after
  • sleeping a baby in an unsafe cot or in an unsafe environment.

Being on the tummy while awake

  • It is quite safe to put a baby down on his tummy on a firm surface (eg. on a blanket on the floor) while he is awake. This helps babies to learn how to lift their heads, use their arms and explore the world.
  • Make sure that there is an adult with the baby all the time while he is on his tummy.
  • Always turn babies onto their back if they fall asleep.
  • Have a look at the Red Nose information on Tummy time.

Other things to think about

  • Babies can be wrapped for sleeping. See the topic Wrapping babies safely - and sleeping bags
  • Dummies and SIDS Research suggests that using a dummy (pacifier) may have a protective effect against SIDS. Parents will need to work out for themselves whether their baby uses a dummy. Red nose has a position statement Using a dummy or pacifier.
  • Immunisation does not increase the risk of SIDS.

Other sources of information

Pregnancy, birth and baby

back to top

The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

Home › Health Topics › Safety & First Aid >