Study: Fewer Parents Putting Babies To Sleep On Their Backs

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Babies

The nation's "Back to Sleep" campaign hasn't reached all American parents. Credit: Star5112, Flickr.


Since the national "Back to Sleep" campaign began 15 years ago, many parents have learned that placing babies to sleep on their backs can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But a new study on infant sleeping positions finds that the number of parents putting their babies to sleep on their backs has leveled off over the past five years.

"Between 2003 and 2007, there was no significant yearly increase in supine sleep," the study reports.

Several clues emerged from the study about why some parents are ignoring this advice: Some parents worry that their child will be uncomfortable on their back or could choke during the night in that position. Others weren't told by their pediatrician that that back sleeping is now believed to be the safest method.Several clues emerged from the study about why some parents are ignoring this advice: Some parents worry that their child will be uncomfortable on their back or could choke during the night in that position. Others weren't told by their pediatrician that that back sleeping is now believed to be the safest method.

The study, published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, is based on an analysis of 1993-2007 data from the National Infant Sleep Position Study, an annual telephone survey of about 1,000 households with infants.The researchers -- led by Dr. Eve Colson, associate professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine -- say there is still work to be done in educating parents about the safest way to put their babies to sleep.

"To decrease sudden infant death syndrome rates," the study concludes, "we must ensure that public health measures reach the populations at risk and include messages that address concerns about infant comfort and choking."

Tell us: Do you (or did you) put your infant to sleep on her back or belly?

Related:
Do You Put Your Baby On Her Back?, Who Is Affected By SIDS

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.