Babies should always be put to sleep on their backs, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Yet, only 44% of U.S. mothers report they always use this method, according to a new study.
Sleeping on the back reduces a baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related dangers like suffocation. Because of this, the NIH has campaigned for over 20 years to promote this sleeping method.
Mothers who do not always put their babies to sleep on their backs cited baby comfort and family members’ advice as reasons against the safer sleep method. However, pediatricians stress that sleeping on the back is the safest position for babies, despite misinformation.
You can further protect against SIDS by sleeping in the same room (but not the same bed) as your baby. Ensure your baby sleeps on his or her back on a firm surface with a tight-fitted sheet. Do not give the baby pillows, blankets or anything that can cause suffocation.
This article is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal or medical advice. Readers should contact legal or medical counsel for advice.