Red Nose Six Safe Sleep Recommendations

For all babies 0-12 months, Red Nose recommends six key steps to reduce the risk of sudden infant death.


1) Always place baby on their back to sleep

Placing baby on their back to sleep helps keep their airway clear and ensures their protective reflexes work. Back sleeping reduces the risk of suffocation, overheating and choking.

2) Keep baby’s face and head uncovered

Babies control their temperature through their face and head, so keeping baby’s face and head uncovered during sleep helps reduce the risk of overheating. It also helps keep their airways clear which reduces the risk of suffocation.

3) Keep baby smoke free, before and after birth

Smoking during pregnancy and around baby once they are born increases the risk of sudden infant death – this includes second-hand smoke.

If you or your partner smoke, don’t smoke around baby and never smoke where baby sleeps.

For free help to quit smoking call Quitline on 13 78 48.

4) Safe sleeping environment, night and day

The safest place for baby to sleep is in their own safe space, with a safe mattress, and safe bedding. Baby should always be placed on their back to sleep, with their feet at the bottom of the bassinet or cot.

Safe cot

Meets Australian standard AS/NZS 2172:2003.

Safe mattress

Firm, flat, right size for your safe cot, meets voluntary Australian standard (AS/NZS 8811.1:2013).

Safe bedding

Lightweight bedding, firmly tucked in and only pulled up to the chest.

Safe sleeping bag

Well fitted across the neck and chest, with baby’s arms out, and no hood.

5) Sleep baby in their own safe sleep space in the parent’s or caregiver’s room for the first 6 months

The safest place for babies to sleep is in their own safe space, in the same room as their parents or adult caregiver for the first 6 months.

6) Breastfeed baby

Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death.

Red Nose Safe Sleep Advice Line

1300 998 698

Last modified: 9/1/23