Changing nursery practice gets inner-city infants in the supine position for sleep

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002 Jul;156(7):717-20. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.156.7.717.


Objective: To determine whether an educational intervention to change nursery practice would result in more inner-city parents placing their infants in the supine position for sleep.

Design: We conducted semistructured interviews at the 2-week health supervision visit with 1 convenience sample of parents before and a different convenience sample of parents after an educational intervention was conducted to change nursery practice in positioning infants for sleep.

Setting: University hospital clinic located in an urban setting.

Participants: Parents of 2-week-old infants at their first health supervision visit in an urban, university-affiliated clinic. All parents who were approached agreed to participate.

Intervention: Nurses were instructed to place infants exclusively in the supine position in the nursery and to instruct parents to exclusively place infants in the supine sleeping position at home.

Main outcome measure: The usual sleeping position in which parents reported placing their 2-week old infants.

Results: Before the intervention, 41% of parents reported that a clinician had told them to place their infants to sleep in the supine position compared with 81% after the intervention (odds ratio [OR], 6.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.1-12.3). Before the intervention, 37% of parents reported that the nursery staff placed their infants to sleep in the supine position, compared with 88% after the intervention (OR, 12.5; 95% CI, 5.7-27.7). Before the intervention, 42% of parents reported that they usually placed their infants to sleep in the supine position at home compared with 75% after the intervention (OR, 4.2; 95% CI, 2.1-7.9).

Conclusion: After an educational intervention to change practice in a well-newborn nursery, many more parents reported placing their infants in the supine position for sleep, which suggests that such an intervention may have an impact on the position in which parents place their children to sleep.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Connecticut
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / standards*
  • Infant Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parents / psychology
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Sleep*
  • Sudden Infant Death / prevention & control*
  • Supine Position*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population