Infant Care Practices Study (ICPS)


To determine the prevalence of sleep position among a representative sample of newborn infants, the predictors of infant sleep position, and the relation between infant sleep position and the risk of SIDS.


Women who have recently delivered a preterm infant surviving to hospital discharge or a healthy term infant will be enrolled by direct personal contact at a number of participating birth hospitals in the Boston, MA and Toledo, OH Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The infant care practices of these women (particularly the position used when placing their children to sleep) will be determined by mail questionnaire when the infants are one, three, and six months of age. Telephone follow-up will be used to supplement the mailed questionnaires, as needed. All-cause mortality and mortality from SIDS in the first year of life among enrolled infants will be determined from public records. These data will be used to describe the prevalence of prone sleep position, its determinants, and changes in sleep position which may occur over time and as children grow through the first six months of life.


Allen A. Mitchell, M.D., Principal Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

Samuel M. Lesko, M.D., M.P.H., Co-Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

Michael Corwin, M.D., Co-Investigator
Boston University School of Medicine

Theodore Colton, Sc.D., Co-Investigator
Boston University School of Public Health

Carl Hunt, M.D., Co-Investigator
Medical College of Ohio

Study Staff:

Sandra Hatfield, Program Coordinator
Megan McCormick, Research Assistant
Sandra Finder, Interviewer

Sources of Funding:

  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Study Period:

October 1994 to September 1999

  • Corwin MJ, Lesko SM, Heeren T, Vezina RM, Hunt CE, Mandell F, McClain M, Mitchell AA. Secular changes in sleep position during infancy: 1995-1998. Pediatrics 2003;111:52-60.
  • Vernacchio L, Corwin MJ, Lesko SM, Vezina RM, Hunt CE, Hoffman HJ, Willinger M, Mitchell AA. Sleep position of low birth weight infants. Pediatrics 2003;111:633-40.
  • Hunt CE, Lesko SM, Vezina RM, McCoy R, Corwin MJ, Mandell F, Willinger M, Hoffman HJ, Mitchell AA. Infant sleep position and associated health outcomes. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2003;157:469-74.
  • Lesko SM, Corwin MJ, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA, Hunt CE. Response to Dr. Moy concerning our paper “Changes in sleep position during infancy” [letter to the editor]. J Am Med Assoc 1999;281:984.
  • Lesko SM, Corwin MJ, Vezina RM, Hunt CE, Mandell F, McClain M, Heeren T, Mitchell AA. Changes in sleep position during infancy: a prospective longitudinal assessment. J Am Med Assoc 1998;280:336-40.