Approximately 60,000 babies are born each year in Aotearoa New Zealand. The current sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) rate in Aotearoa New Zealand is approximately 0.7 in every 1,000 babies born. Most of these deaths are preventable and most occur among Māori and Pacific babies. The needs assessment and care planning guide contain recommended strategies and advice for protecting babies from SUDI.

The needs assessment and care planning guide is intended to provide health professionals with strategies to assess SUDI risk factors from which a care plan can be developed. The needs assessment and care planning guide contains strategies for conversations regarding placing baby in a safe sleep space, eliminating smoking during pregnancy, positioning baby flat on back to sleep and encouraging and supporting exclusive breastfeeding. The strategies cover risk and protective factors through antenatal, birth and postnatal.