Objectives. The Back to Sleep campaign has been credited with recent declines in the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome. Using survey data for the 1996–1998 birth cohorts, this epidemiologic study examines infant sleep position in a large, population-based sample.
Data and Methods. Data concerning infant sleep position are drawn from the 1996–1998 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System for 15 states. Weighted multiple logistic regression analysis is used to examine correlates of infant sleep position.
Results. The prevalence of prone infant sleeping significantly declined between 1996 and 1998 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.63, 0.78]). African Americans were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to sleep prone, (AOR = 1.45; 95% CI = 1.33,1.59), and were less likely to sleep supine (AOR = 0.52; 95% CI = 0.48, 0.57). Hispanic/Latinos were less likely overall than non-Hispanic whites to sleep prone (AOR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.69, 0.95), but were also less likely to sleep supine (AOR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.69, 0.87). Adherence to sleep position recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics increased sharply among Hispanic/Latino infants. Very low birth weight infants and infants in larger families were less likely to sleep in the recommended supine position. Infants born between 1001 and 1500 g (AOR = 0.67; 95% CI = 0.57, 0.79), and extremely low birth weight infants between 500 and 1000 g (AOR = 0.57; 95% CI = 0.45, 0.72) were especially unlikely to sleep supine. Infants in households with more than 3 other children (AOR = 1.72; 95% CI = 1.08, 2.74) were more likely to sleep prone.
Conclusions. The prevalence of supine infant sleep increased between 1996 and 1998. Low adherence to sleep position recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics among African Americans, very low birth weight infants, and infants in large families remain public health concerns.