27 November 2023

As the year draws to a close and people start thinking about summer holidays, Whānau Āwhina Plunket is reminding people to make sure every sleep is a safe sleep for pēpi, no matter where they are or who they’re with.

This Friday (1 December 2023) is the official start of summer and National Safe Sleep Day – Te Rā Mokopuna, which aims to raise awareness about the impact of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) on whānau across Aotearoa.

Whānau Āwhina Plunket Chief Nurse Zoë Tipa says sadly every year in Aotearoa New Zealand 40 to 60 babies die of SUDI – many deaths can be prevented by following life-saving safe sleep practices.

“Babies spend a lot of time sleeping, day and night, so it’s important everyone who looks after them including grandparents, relatives, friends, and babysitters, know how to keep them safe for every sleep, no matter where they are.

“Wherever you go this summer, protect pēpi by following these sleep safety tips:

• Place pēpi in their own baby bed such as a bassinet, cot, wahakura or pēpi-pod®

• Position baby flat on their back to sleep, with their face clear of bedding or anything else. When pēpi is on their back, their airway is clear and open, and this helps them breathe easier

• Ensure the environment your pēpi is in is smokefree, alcohol and drug-free

• Encourage and support breastfeeding

• Ensure your pēpi has a responsible and safe carer

• Be mindful of the weather and make sure that your pēpi is not too hot or cold

• When travelling, take regular breaks and check on pēpi in their carseat.

“Summer is a great time to catch up with friends and whānau and introduce them to your precious pēpi. Plan ahead, think safe-to-sleep-space for pēpi everywhere you go.

“If you have any questions, talk to your Plunket nurse or the wider team; they will be able to support you with what you need, or you can call PlunketLine 24/7 on 0800 933 922 and speak to a Plunket nurse,” says Dr Tipa.

This Friday, 1 December at 12.30pm our Plunket nurses will be hosting a Facebook Live chat on safe sleeping practices for pēpi. You can join on our Facebook page (facebook.com/PlunketNZ) or YouTube channel (@WhanauAwhinaPlunket) or watch it later on both platforms.

For more information on safe sleep, visit plunket.org.nz/caring-for-your-child/safe-sleep


Download a PDF of this media release