How to talk to your parents about safe sleep


If you’ve just had a little one, no doubt your parents will be excited to help look after them.

But, something we often hear at Red Nose is concern from new parents that their parents (the new grandparents!) aren’t following our safe sleep recommendations. This can be because there was no such things as safe sleeping when you were a baby or they think they know best, after all they did raise you!

While this is well-meaning, it can be dangerous. Many things might have changed since you were a baby, and it’s important to make sure grandma and grandpa know to how practice safe sleeping.

So, how can you talk to your (grand)parents about it?

1. Sleep baby on their back

Make sure baby is always placed on their back to sleep. It’s the most important thing we can do to keep baby safe. Many new grandparents are surprised by this recommendation, having raised their own children by sleeping them on their sides or even their tummies.

But, we now have strong evidence to show that babies are best able to protect their airways when sleeping on their backs.

Click here for more information on why babies should be placed on their back for every sleep.

2. Set up a safe environment

A safe environment is a key part of safe sleep, even when baby is visiting with friends and family. By ensuring the cot is set up according to Red Nose’s safety guidelines, you’re well on your way to helping baby sleep safely.

Beanies are cute and keep little heads warm, but they should always come off for sleep.

Click here for some helpful resources:

3. Share our special Grandparents and Safe Sleeping video

We have created a special Grandparents video which explains what has changed since we were all babies and how to practice safe sleep. It’s a great video to watch as a family, so everyone knows how to keep baby safe while sleeping. Click here to watch the 3min video.

4. Seek expert advice

Red Nose is the national authority on safe sleep. Our safe sleeping recommendations have helped to reduce SIDS by 80% Australia since 1988 – that’s 11,357 babies lives saved and counting.

We offer FREE advice and support to parents and grandparents alike, through our online education materials and Safe Sleep Advice Line (1300 998 698).

Being able to provide impartial, evidence-based information can be a huge help when discussing safe sleeping recommendations.

Anyone can call us for advice on 1300 998 698 during business hours.

Don’t forget - sleeping baby on their back in a safe environment and keeping their head and face uncovered, is crucial to reducing the risk of sudden infant death and fatal sleeping accidents.

For more advice and tips, visit our Advice Hub or call our Safe Sleep Educators on 1300 998 698 (during business hours).

Last modified: 21/12/22