Newborns spend a lot of their days (and, for your sake, hopefully nights) sleeping. Because they easily spend more than half of their time asleep, it is crucial that this activity is done safely. The safest way to have your newborn sleep is on his back. In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics found that newborns who sleep on their stomachs have a significantly higher risk of SIDS than those who sleep on their backs.
After the AAP made this recommendation public, the rate of SIDS dropped by 50 percent. However, SIDS remains the No. 1 cause of death in young infants, so the continued emphasis of the importance of the Back to Sleep campaign cannot be underestimated.
Unfortunately, SIDS is not completely preventable, and there are babies who succumb to SIDS every year, despite no definable risk factors.