The prone sleeping position, (the position observed by placing your infant to sleep on his/her tummy) has been publicly advised against by the SIDS community for over fourteen years. Through international alliances, word-of-mouth, and aggressive public campaigning (most popularly the Back To Sleep campaign), awareness has risen and we’ve seen a sizable reduction in SIDS cases as a result. Today, we rather predictably announce that our stance on prone sleeping hasn’t changed, and a recent article published in Pediatric Journal explains why. The article (citing research investigating sleeping patterns in infants) states that research has demonstrated yet again, that infants placed to sleep on their stomachs are at a greater risk for SIDS than those placed to sleep on their backs. Furthermore, the findings identified other popularized risk factors as sleeping on duvets, sleeping outside of the parents’ household, and sleeping outside of the parents’ immediate proximity.
The findings of this article really aren’t much of a surprise in terms of identifying risk factors for SIDS but they’re significant in that they confirm much of what we already know. We can’t stress enough the importance of preparing the safest sleeping environment possible for your baby and sleep positioning, parental proximity, and bed cushioning are all integral considerations in preparing that environment. Please take the results of this and past studies as evidence and take the steps to keep your family safe.
If you only remember one thing from this post, “Face Up To Wake Up” seems the most appropriate. Oh, and Happy Earth Day!