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Where We Stand: Back To Sleep

Based on an evaluation of current sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) data, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that healthy infants always be placed for sleep—whether it be naptime or nighttime—on their backs.

Despite common beliefs, there is no evidence that choking is more frequent among infants lying on their backs (the supine position) when compared to other positions, nor is there evidence that sleeping on the back is harmful to healthy babies. Babies with gastroesophageal reflux should still be placed on their backs. In some very rare circumstances (for instance, if your baby has just had back surgery), your infant may need to be on the stomach for sleep. Discuss your individual circumstances with your pediatrician.

Since 1992, when the AAP began recommending this sleep position the annual SIDS rate has declined more than 50 percent.

Additional Information:

Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 6th Edition (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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