HealthDay News — Few parents with infants aged 12 months or younger report adhering to all 3 recommended safe sleep practices at sleep onset and after nighttime waking, with many changes in sleep practices to less-safe practices, according to a study published online in Pediatrics.

Mersine A. Bryan, MD, MPH, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional online survey of parents with infants aged 12 months and younger to assess parent-reported sleep practices. A composite score examined whether all 3 safe sleep practices were used at sleep onset and after nighttime waking; safe sleep was defined as supine position, sleeping in a separate space, and sleeping in a crib, bassinet, cradle, or play yard.

The researchers found that 39% of the 1500 participants reported a second-sleep practice. Of those reporting a second-sleep practice, 28% and 9% met all 3 safe sleep criteria at sleep onset and at both time points, respectively. Significantly more changes in sleep practices were to less-safe practices. Parental age younger than 25 years, parental race and ethnicity, first-time parents, homes with smoke exposure, and infants born at less than 37 weeks were factors associated with second-sleep practices.

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“Importantly, a significantly higher proportion of changes were to a less-safe sleep practice (eg, supine to prone),” the authors write. “Less than 10% of our sample reported adhering to all 3 recommended infant safe sleep practices at both sleep onset and after nighttime waking.”

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