Survey of sleeping position recommendations for prematurely born infants

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The risk of sudden infant death syndrome is increased in prematurely born infants compared to those born at term, particularly if they are either slept prone or on their side. The aim of this study was to determine whether a national campaign "Time to get back to sleep" had influenced the recommendations made by neonatal practitioners regarding the sleeping position for prematurely born babies prior to and after neonatal unit discharge. A questionnaire survey was sent to all UK neonatal units, of which 90% responded. The results were compared to those of a survey carried out prior to the national campaign. Analysis of the responses demonstrated that there was no significant difference in the proportion of units which recommended supine sleeping at least 1-2 weeks before discharge (78% versus 83%). Still, a minority of units provided written information for staff (26% versus 33%), but a greater proportion of units provided written information for parents (95% versus 90%, p = 0.047). All units recommended supine sleeping following discharge, and compared to the results of the previous survey, a smaller proportion of units additionally recommended side sleeping after discharge (8% versus 17%, p = 0.01) and a greater proportion actively discouraged prone sleeping (62% versus 38%, p <0.0001). Conclusions: The majority but, importantly, not all neonatal units are giving appropriate recommendations regarding sleeping position following neonatal unit discharge. These results highlight that further education of neonatal staff regarding appropriate sleeping position for prematurely born babies remains imperative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229 - 232
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Questionnaires
  • Supine Position
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Health Education
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant
  • Sudden Infant Death
  • Prone Position
  • Sleep
  • Adult
  • Patient Discharge
  • Parents
  • Female
  • Male


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