Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Not All Parents Put Babies to Sleep on Back

Study Shows Advice on SIDS Prevention Isn't Being Heeded

Choosing Sleep Positions continued...

Ten percent of caregivers said they thought their infant might choke while sleeping on his or her back. However, those who did not report this concern were much more likely to put their babies in the back position.

"For the vast majority of infants, concerns about choking while back sleeping are unfounded," Marian Willinger, PhD, special assistant for SIDS research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), emphasizes in a news release. "Placing infants on their backs for sleep remains the single most effective means we know to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome."

Willinger notes that in certain health conditions, a doctor may recommended against back sleeping, but only after carefully weighing the risks and benefits to the infant.

Babies Who Sleep on Their Backs

The study revealed that babies were more likely to be put to sleep on their backs if:

  • They were the first-born child
  • They were not premature
  • Their mothers did not live in the Southern U.S.
  • Their mothers had a higher education level
  • Their mothers were not African-American

The researchers urge all health care providers to make sure caregivers are told that it's safest to place infants to sleep exclusively on their backs, and that concerns about choking and discomfort are discussed. Doing so, they say, will help reduce the overall SIDS death rate.

"We can't equivocate, or the message gets lost," says Colson. "And we need to serve as role models, placing infants to sleep on their backs, beginning the minute infants are born in our hospital nurseries and pediatric units."

The findings appear in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

1 | 2

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow