Experts reveal the correct way to hold a baby in a sling after a three-week-old baby suffocated to death

EXPERTS are warning parents of common baby sling mistakes they might be making after a newborn tragically suffocated to death.

An Australian mum is said to be "inconsolable" after she unwrapped her three-week-old son from a fabric baby sling at a post-natal check-up last month only to discover he had suffocated.

According to News.Au, the mum handed her baby over to a nurse who quickly realised that he was not breathing.

Staff at the Long Jetty Community Health Centre performed CPR on the newborn but were unable to revive him.

In response to the tragic incident, Red Nose Australia – a charity who supporting parents affected by Sudden Infant Death (SIDs) – has warned parents of the common mistakes they could be making with their baby slings using the TICKS guidelines.

However, the charity recommends that parents avoid using sling until their baby is at least four months old as they can be a "suffocation risk".


Keep the sling tight and ensure your baby is positioned high, upright and with their head supported.

Any slack will allow your baby to slump down in the carrier which can hinder their breathing an pull on your back.

In view at all times

You should be able to see your baby’s face by looking down.

The fabric of a sling should not close around them so you have to open it to check on them.

In a cradle position your baby should face upwards and not be turned in towards your body.

Close enough to kiss

You should be able to kiss the top of your baby’s forehead just by tipping your head forward.

Keep chin off chest

Your baby’s chin should be kept up and away from their body to avoid restricting their breathing.

Ensure there is always a space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin


A baby’s back should be supported in their sling, with their tummy and chest against you.

If the sling is too loose, they can slump which can partially close their airway.

This can be tested by placing a hand on your baby’s back and pressing gently.


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