Keep your babies sleeping on their backs.
So says a new study of 23 babies born in Australia who died of sudden infant death (SIDS).According to the study, babies who'd been sleeping in the prone position (on their stomach, face to side, or on their stomach, face down) had a four and a half times increased risk of SIDS.
"The findings are strengthened by the results of a concurrent retrospective case control study of 42 SIDS cases in which the prone position was also associated with an increased risk of SIDS," said the study. It also squares with a British study, which put the risk at an eightfold increase.
The study felt that the reason for the association was obstruction to the airways, or some association between the prone position and thermal balance or arousal state.
"Our findings support the . . . view that the prone position should not be advocated for infants unless there are specific clinical indications."