Parents will be able to borrow safe sleep cribs as part of a special project geared to protecting babies at home.

Staff at Nelson Marlborough Health have invested $6000 in 60 new safe sleep pods.

The cots, called Pepi-Pods will be available to families who prefer to co-sleep to borrow and use at home.

Nelson Marlborough health promoter Anna Duggan says parents want to do the best by their baby and it is natural to want to keep them as close as possible.

"It's lovely to be able to have your baby near you and this makes it safer. People chose to co-sleep as it helps support bonding and breastfeeding and of course people want to be as close to their baby as possible.

"This is a great way for patents to be on hand to reassure their baby but in a safe way," she said.

The Nelson Marlborough Health Care Foundation and the Ministry of Health have also purchased 20 clear bassinets called minipods for $1800 for use in health facilities across the region.

The move comes as National Safe Sleep Day, Te Rā Mokopuna, got underway on Friday to promote safe sleeping practices.

Forty-four babies died from sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) in 2015 in New Zealand. The New Zealand Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee (the CYMRC) believe 27 of those deaths were preventable.

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