Are you putting your baby to sleep safely? Most moms aren't, study says

Putting your baby to bed can be a challenge, and unfortunately, many moms are doing it wrong, according to a new study.

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Researchers from Yale and Boston University recently conducted an experiment, which was published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, to determine how many mothers lay their babies on their backs. This is the position the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, because it's been said to reduce the risk of deadly conditions including sudden infant death syndrome.

To find the answer, scientists handed out a survey to more than 3,000 mommies. The questionnaire focused on how women situate their little ones in their cribs.

After tallying the results, they found that only 43.7 percent of of American moms intend to and always put their babies to bed correctly. Additionally, 77.3 percent usually - but not always - put their babies on their backs.

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Why aren’t people following the rules?

Scientists believe variables such as attitudes, subjective norms and perceived control are all factors.

"We looked at what drives people's behavior for adhering to safe infant sleeping practices, and found that so much of what influences their decision-making has to do with attitudes and subjective norms," Eve Colson, lead author, said in a statement. "What do people around you do? What do you see people do? Who is your adviser, and what advice are they giving you? All these factors are very important as they affect the behavior of new parents."

They also believe that intention versus action plays a key role in their findings.

“For example, I want to exercise, but I don’t have time to exercise,” Colston said. “Or, in terms of safe sleep practices, I want to put the baby on its back to sleep, but my mom doesn’t follow this direction when she’s babysitting.”

To combat the issue, researchers hope to conduct more studies that “test the efficacy of educational interventions to change practice."

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