Breastfeeding is the optimal source of nutrition for a baby, with many benefits for both mother and baby. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI).

Red Nose recommends that babies are breastfed. Red Nose also supports parents who bottle feed their babies through the other five evidence-based strategies that they can use to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy.

Summary Points

  • Breastfeeding is the optimal form of nutrition for babies
  • Breastfeeding has multiple benefits for both babies and mothers
  • Breastfeeding has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy
  • Breastfeeding a baby more than halves the odds of a baby dying suddenly and unexpectedly
  • The protective effect of breastfeeding is stronger for exclusive breastfeeding over a longer period of time
  • Babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life
  • Introduction of solid foods to healthy infants should commence at 6 months of age
  • Breastfeeding (and/or milk or breast milk substitutes, if used) should continue beyond the first six months and ideally to at least 2 years of age with appropriate intake of solid food
  • Parents should be informed of the benefits of breastfeeding and of the risks of not breastfeeding when a change from breastfeeding is being considered
  • Parents who feed their baby infant formula or supplementary feeds will reduce the risk of SUDI using the other five evidence based safe sleeping strategies

For further in depth information on this topic, see our Red Nose Information Statement Breastfeeding and the Risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy.

Last modified: 28/2/19