The American Academy of Pediatric (AAP) recommends newborns to not sleep in the prone position (which is simply described as baby sleeping on their stomach). The AAP went further and changed their policy statement to promote newborns to in the supine position (simply described as baby sleeping on their back). The recommendation was to help parents reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths.
Since the policy and recommendation change the prevalence of babies sleeping in the supine position has increased from 13% in 1992 to 72% in 2001 and 75% as early as 2010. The rise in supine sleeping position has coincided with the drop in occurrence of SIDS (see Figure below).
The amazing relationship between supine sleeping and SIDS can seen in the trend that SIDS level plateau around 2001. This coincides with surveys that found parents who put their baby to sleep in the back sleeping position didn’t increase drastically from 2001 through 2010. Even with the great reduction since 1990, SIDS is still the 3rd leading cause of infant mortality and the leading cause of death for newborns from 28 days to 1 years of age.
Here are some great tips for parents to help your baby sleep on their backs –
- Don’t smoke during pregnancy
- Don’t drink during pregnancy
- Have your newborn sleep in the crib or bassinet (in the same room for easy monitoring)
- Always place babies to sleep on their backs
- Do not overheat the baby
- Use firm mattress and don’t bring babies to sleep on adult beds or with parents
- Remove toys, soft bedding, clothes, etc from crib while babies are sleeping
Share this information with other parents today, so we can reduce the occurrence of SIDS.