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Baby safe sleep practice vital after earthquakes

2 December 2016

Baby safe sleep practice vital after earthquakes

It’s natural for new parents to want to keep their babies close after the recent earthquakes but Plunket is advising families to continue following safe sleep practices.

Plunket’s National Advisor for Māori Health Zoe Tipa says for parents who choose to bring their babies into their bed, the use of sturdy plastic pepipods and flax wahakura are a safer option.

“But unless you have one of these, our advice is to follow the usual practice of keeping your baby in their own bed, making sure they are sleeping face up and face clear, and ensuring the house is smoke free.”

With the Christmas holidays not too far away, Plunket also reminds parents to keep up their safe sleep practices while travelling or at family occasions.

“When you arrive at your destination, don’t leave your sleeping baby in the car or car seat – bring them out and lie them flat, face up and face clear in their bed.”

Today is Safe Sleep Day and Ms Tipa is encouraged that the messages around safe sleep are getting through. Fewer babies are dying in their sleep and fewer of them are Māori.

“SUDI deaths have dropped from 60 in 2006 to around 40 now, with most of the reductions within the Māori population. However, Māori babies still account for well over half of all SUDI deaths and we can do much better. SUDI is preventable.

“Babies spend a lot of time sleeping so it’s really important that parents and the whole whānau know how to make sure every baby has a safe sleep, every time they sleep.”

For more information about Safe Sleep Day events in your area, visit


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