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March 17, 1999

Putting Babies "Back to Sleep"—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(11):983-984. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-11-jbk0317

In Reply: In the National Infant Sleep Position (NISP) study we deliberately asked caregivers if their baby was placed for sleep in a specific position.1 Respondents reported a specific, usual sleep position for 97% of infants. Similarly, 87% of respondents in the District of Columbia reported usually placing their infant in a specific position, side, back, or stomach.2 The stability of various sleep positions was assessed in the NISP.1 The supine and prone sleep positions are very stable from birth through 15 weeks of age with about a 96% probability that infants will be found in the same position in which they are placed. The supine position, the current recommended infant sleep position, remains relatively stable at 16 to 23 weeks and at 24 to 28 weeks (84% and 68% probability of being found supine, respectively).