Safe sleep

Children under the age of 1 are at a higher risk of Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant (SUDI). Incidents of SUDI where there are safe sleep practices in a service are rare.


Services should:

  • place the infant to sleep on their back with their face up and feet to the bottom of the cot so that the infant can’t wriggle under the bedding
  • make sure the infant’s face is clear of bedding and they cannot become trapped or strangled
  • make sure the infants do not overheat in terms of clothing and blankets/coverings. Sleep room temperatures are no lower than 18 degrees C.
  • make sure that if a mattress is used, it should be firm and flat to keep infant’s airways open
  • make sure the gaps between the bars of infant’s cots are between 50 mm and 95 mm - ideally closer to 50 mm
  • make sure there is nothing in the bed that might cover the infant’s face, or able to be reached by the infant from within the bed that might lift their head or choke them. Eg no pillows, toys, loose bedding, bumper pads or necklaces (including amber beads and ‘teething’ necklaces)
  • not put infants to sleep swaddled if there is a risk they may roll onto their front.

Licensing criteria for sleep

Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services - PF31

Licensing criteria for home-based ECE services - PF22

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