Mothers usually don't bed down their babies on their back because they fear the infant is going to choke, or because they think that position is more comfortable for their children.
Survey questions included the mother's choice of typical infant sleeping position, all sleeping positions used by the mother, if the mother meant to place her infant in the supine position - and how often she actually carried through with this intended practice - and whether the mother had received information from her health care provider that was consistent with safe sleep recommendations. "To decrease sudden unexpected infant death, the AAP has recommended since 2005 that infants be placed exclusively in the supine position for sleep.Despite this recommendation, not all infants are placed supine for sleep".
The goal of the "Safe to Sleep" campaign (formerly called "Back to Sleep" and introduced in 1994) is to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by urging parents to put babies to sleep on their backs (never on their stomachs) until age 1. According to News Medical, rates of infants sleeping on their back increased from 10% to 78% over the next 10 years, and the rate of SIDS dropped by 53%.
Although many parents know that it's safest for babies to sleep on their backs, a new study found that a majority of moms fail to consistently follow this advice every single time they put their baby to sleep.
"What was new and hadn't been explored before was this idea of what people meant to do versus what they actually do", Dr. Eve Colson, a professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine and co-author of the study, told CNN. Turns out, new moms are turning to their own mothers and grandmothers (understandably so!) and are receiving and listening to advice that conflicts with their pediatrician's.
There were about 3,700 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the United States in 2015, according to the CDC. Despite what our moms tell us, though, placing a baby on his or her back on a firm surface without pillows or blankets is the safest way to put your baby down to sleep, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Just 43.7 percent of mothers tended to and actually put their babies to sleep face-up.
For almost a quarter-century, experts have been telling parents to put newborns to sleep on their backs.
The study also said that parents perceive babies to be uncomfortable if they are frequently waking or crying while on their backs, so they let the child determine the sleeping position.