The Safe to Sleep campaign has been urging parents and caregivers to put babies to sleep on their backs for 23 years. Despite that, only 43.7 percent of U.S. moms report that they intend to use this method and actually do so all the time, according to a new study.
Yes, that's right folks, less than half of moms in America are following the heavily repeated instructions on how to put a baby to sleep safely. This is surprising not only because the campaign to do so has lasted more than two decades, but also because the risks of doing it other ways are so great.
After all, putting babies to sleep on their backs reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), as well as other fatal risks like suffocation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The alarming study, published in the journal Pediatrics, surveyed 3,297 moms. Of those mothers, 77.3 percent said that they usually put their babies to sleep on their backs — but not always.
"What was new and hadn't been explored before was this idea of what people intended to do versus what they actually do," said study co-author Dr. Eve Colson. "What we found was that people intended to put their baby on their back but didn't always do that."
Worryingly, those who criticized the back sleeping position cited a fear that it would make a baby choke or make them feel uncomfortable.
Now is a great time to remind the mothers in your life that the back is always the way to go when it comes to putting a baby to sleep — no matter how many times you think they've heard it!