Parents requests about their baby’s sleep routines at childcare will soon be ignored and overruled by staff, under a new national child safety crackdown.

In a bid to reduce cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, staff will ignore the wishes of parents who want their babies to sleep on their front or side, unless a valid medical reason is provided.

The Herald Sun report the strict guidelines will be enforced from October 1 by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.

Parents who want staff to swaddle or wrap the arms of babies over three months old, or to wrap babies who are old enough to roll, will also be overruled unless they have a doctor’s endorsement.

Author and lactation consultant Pinky McKay said parents who hand over children to childcare staff “hand over the responsibility”.

“It’s good to think uniform standards are now in place,” she said.

“As the national authority on infant safe sleeping, Red Nose welcomes changes to the National Law and Regulations that require child care centres to have policies and procedures for sleep and rest of children and infants,” said Yvonne Amos, Red Nose’s General Manager Marketing, Communications and Income Development.

“This change will ensure consistency in child care centres across the country so that every child will be slept according to Red Nose’s safe sleeping guidelines, which have reduced the rate of sudden unexpected death in infancy in Australia by 80 per cent and saved 9,450 lives.”

SIDS recommends:
How to Sleep your Baby Safely:
1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months
6. Breastfeed baby

I am surprised to be honest. I thought safe sleep practices would always be followed first over a parents preference?

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  • About time this was adopted. Thanks for the post.


  • In the interest of health and safety, then I think this is a good idea to follow the safe sleeping guidelines.


  • Staff have a duty of care and of course would have to follow national guidelines.


  • i thought that they would be doing this regardless already! well hopefully this will be effective


  • I can’t believe I used to put my boys to sleep on their sides. Maybe I was just lucky? I would have thought that lying them on their backs, if they vomited, could block their airways.


  • It looks very sensible to me to follow the safe sleeping guidelines. I thought they already did!!


  • I think this makes perfect sense. I didn’t know you can’t wrap a baby over 3 months of age though. But my baby years are behind me now. I certainly think most parents should be given information on safe sleeping practices. I wonder if child care centres will give parents an explanation of why they won’t do it and a pamphlet on the saftey guidelines.


  • Good ideas – I always followed what was recommended, however, once a child is old enough to roll they will often just roll onto their tummy anyway- both of mine did.


  • I think this is fantastic. It just makes things very clear. SIDS research cannot be ignored and I imagine any parent would be happy with this new rule.


  • i can’t imagine why (unless for medical reasons) parents wouldn’t be following the SIDS safe sleeping recommendations?

    Good to see something rolled out across the country for the safety of children, I hope that childcare places have success going against the parents wishes!


  • A good thing indeed ! Safety first, certainly when you carry responsibility over another persons child.


  • I can’t believe this wasn’t already a thing.


  • I was advised not to wrap or swaddle a child after they can roll. I am surprised when I hear about children swaddled until the age of 2 or more.


  • Good they are changing the regulations and making it uniform.


  • I’m glad that they are changing the regulations. I’m sure it will be hard on a few families, but it’s better than a tragedy occurring and the blame being placed on a service for poor policy.

    • Well said mom 247592 and I agree.


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