SIDS - Infant Sleep Positioning

Parents and caregivers should now consider placing healthy infants on their backs when putting them down to sleep. This is because recent studies have shown an increased incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in infants who sleep on their stomachs. There is no evidence that sleeping on the back is harmful to healthy infants.

Keep the following points in mind:

  1. Infants should be placed for sleep in a nonprone position. Supine (wholly on the back) confers the lowest risk and is preferred.
  2.  Do not place your infant to sleep on soft surfaces or with pillows
  3.  This recommendation is for sleeping infants. A certain amount of "tummy time," while the baby is awake and observed, is recommended.
  4.  Be certain that secondary caregivers such as grandparents and early education and child care centers know about this recommendation.

The information contained in this publication 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.

© Copyright 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics