Background: Prone sleeping has been recognized as a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome. Ten years ago, non-prone sleeping was recommended in many countries around the world including Israel. The rate of infants sleeping prone and the rate of parents' adherence with the recommendations have not been studied.
Objectives: To study infants' sleep position and parents’ adherence to recommendations, and to identify risk factors for prone sleeping following the campaign to prevent prone sleeping in the Israeli population.
Methods: We conducted a longitudinal telephone survey with the parents of 608 randomly selected 2 month old infants, repeated at 4 and 6 months.
Results: Non-prone sleeping decreased from 75% to 67% and 63% at 2, 4 and 6 months respectively. There was a significant relationship between prone positioning and the use of a home apnea monitor at 2 months (P = 0.038, odds ratio 1.37, 95% confidence interval 0.94–2.15). Other risk factors for prone sleeping were the level of religious practice, with ultra-Orthodox Jews having the highest prevalence (2 months: OR 2.78, 95% CI 1.75–4.55) and higher parity – especially in families with more than five children (P = 0.041).
Conclusions: The prone sleeping position is relatively high in Israel. Groups at high risk were closely associated with the level of religiousness and parity. Efforts to promote supine sleeping should be directed towards identifiable groups.