Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS means when a baby, who is healthy, stops breathing and dies in their sleep. This can be very scary to think about. But it’s very rare.

There are many things you can do to help your baby sleep safely. This can help lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Here is some information on safe sleeping:

  • Always lay your baby down on their back to sleep.
  • Put your baby’s feet at the end of the cot or basket so they can’t slide under the covers.
  • Use only sheets and light blankets, not heavy quilts or cot bumpers.
  • Keep your baby away from smoke.
  • Make sure the room is not too hot. The best temperature is between 16-20°C.
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress that’s in good shape.
  • For the first six months, the best place for your baby to sleep is in a cot or basket in your room.


When you smoke near your baby, they breathe in the smoke too. This is called “secondhand” smoke. It’s really bad for babies because their lungs and immune system are still growing and increase their risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

If you or your partner smoke, do not share a bed with your baby as it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), especially if you smoke, recently drank alcohol or you are taking medication that makes you sleep more heavily.

Video - Safe sleeping for your baby