Work through this checklist and make changes to your baby's environment to help keep them safe.
To help keep your baby safe in bed lie them on their back with their face kept clear. The risk of SUDI (SIDS or cot death) is reduced if your baby always sleeps on their back. Make up the cot so that your baby sleeps at the foot of the cot. This will stop them slipping under the covers.
Avoid loose covers that do not tuck in as they may slip over your baby’s face. To keep their face clear of the covers, tuck your baby in securely. Avoid using bumper pads because of the risk of strangulation and suffocation. Don't use pillows and toys in the bed as they might suffocate your baby. Make sure there are no loose ribbons, ties or threads on baby’s clothes.
Your baby’s bed is safer when the mattress:
Make sure that:
If you are putting baby to bed somewhere else other than their cot:
You may have read or been given advice about wrapping mattresses in plastic to prevent SUDI (SIDS or cot death). The Plunket Society and the Cot Death Association do not endorse the use of plastic coverings for mattresses. Always remove the original plastic wrapping which covered the mattress when you bought it because thin or loose plastic coverings could suffocate your baby. Talk to your Plunket nurse for more information about wrapping mattresses in plastic.
Babies sleep better when they are warm in bed — not too hot or too cold. If they feel hot take off some of the covers. To quickly check if your baby is warm enough slip two fingers down the back of the neck. If baby’s back is warm then they are, even if their hands and feet feel cool.
A blanket under the bottom sheet and blankets on top help keep your baby warm. Use a hot water bottle to warm their bed but take it out before they go to bed. Wheat bags are not safe as they can overheat and burn baby.
Sheepskins should be avoided if there is a history of asthma or allergy in the family, as they can collect house dust mites. If you want to use a sheepskin, use a short-hair type, and cover it with a sheet.
Making your baby’s bedroom safe and the right temperature: