“Back to Sleep” is a term linked to a campaign that recommends placing babies on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The term emphasizes the safest sleeping position, which is placing infants on their back until they reach 1 year of age. This campaign has significantly decreased the cases of SIDS since its introduction in the 1990s.

Key Takeaways

  1. ‘Back to Sleep’ is a campaign initiated to educate parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers about the importance of placing babies on their back to sleep to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  2. The term ‘Back to Sleep’ fortifies the safest sleep position for a baby, which is on their back, not their side or stomach. This position hugely decreases the possibility of SIDS.
  3. ‘Back to Sleep’ not only applies to nighttime sleep but also to naps. It’s essential to maintain this position whenever the baby is put to sleep until they are a year old or capable of rolling back and forth from back to tummy.


The term “Back to Sleep” is significant in motherhood as it relates to a campaign that promotes placing infants on their backs to sleep as a means to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Active since the 1990s, this campaign has significantly contributed to a decrease in infant mortality linked to SIDS.

By educating parents and caregivers on the importance of positioning infants on their back during sleep, suffocation accidents can be decreased because this positioning method prevents an infant from rolling onto their stomach and possibly obstructing their breathing.

Therefore, “Back to Sleep” is a crucial practice in ensuring the safety and well-being of infants.


The term “Back to Sleep” is primarily used in the context of motherhood to stress the importance of placing infants on their backs while sleeping, as part of a critical effort to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. Scientific research has demonstrated that when babies sleep on their stomachs or sides, they may have more difficulty breathing than they do on their backs.

Therefore, this term is a public health initiative aimed at educating parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers about the significance of lying babies onto their back for sleep. In addition to laying the baby on their back to sleep, this proactive approach to avoid SIDS also includes other steps like using a firm sleep surface, keeping the sleep area free from toys and loose bedding, maintaining a comfortable room temperature, and not smoking around the baby, among others.

The purpose of the “Back to Sleep” campaign is to save lives and reduce anxiety revolving around infant sleep safety. Its effectiveness lies in its simplicity and the active language, driving the essential message home: to put babies ‘back to sleep,’ which ensures safer sleep habits for infants.

Examples of Back to Sleep

Example 1:A new mother named Sarah recently had her first child. While at the hospital, nurses and doctors continuously emphasized the “Back to Sleep” campaign, advising her to always put her baby to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Sarah followed this advice and always positioned her baby on his back during naps and bedtime.Example 2:Lucy, a seasoned mother of three, attended a workshop about infant health and safety. The topic of “Back to Sleep” was discussed at length. Lucy learned about the importance of this practice and decided to share this knowledge with her friends who were also new moms.Example 3:In daycare centers across the world, like one managed by John, the “Back to Sleep” guideline is strictly followed for all babies during nap times. This adherence to the campaign reduces the risk of SIDS among these children and ensures their safety while in daycare. John also educates the parents who use his daycare about the importance of this practice at home.

Back to Sleep: Frequently Asked Questions

What does “Back to Sleep” mean?

The “Back to Sleep” campaign is a public health strategy aimed at reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It recommends that babies be placed on their backs to sleep, rather than on their stomachs or sides.

Why is the “Back to Sleep” position recommended for babies?

Research has shown that babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides. Placing your baby on his or her back to sleep is the number one way to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Until what age should the “Back to Sleep” rule be followed?

The “Back to Sleep” rule should be followed until the baby is 1 year old. Once they can roll over on their own, it’s okay if they end up in a different position while sleeping. However, you should still put them to sleep on their back until their first birthday.

What if my baby doesn’t like sleeping on the back?

It’s common for babies to need time adjusting to the back sleeping position. You can make them more comfortable by swaddling them in a blanket or using a sleep sack. If your baby is having a hard time adjusting to back sleeping, talk with your child’s healthcare provider.

Are there any exceptions to the “Back to Sleep” rule?

Yes, there are few exceptions. If your baby has certain health condition, like gastroesophageal reflux or certain upper airway disorders, the healthcare provider might suggest a different sleep position. But for most babies, the back position is the safest position for sleep.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Safe Sleep Environment
  • Swaddling
  • Pacifiers And Sleep
  • Napping Schedule

Sources for More Information