National Infant Sleep Position (NISP) Study (Historical/For Reference Only)

Please Note: This study is complete. The information on this page is provided for historical purposes only, and serves as a bridge to the NISP data and related documents. The page is not being updated.


The NISP study was conducted from 1992 to 2010 to study infant care practices and dissemination of infant sleep position recommendations, funded under cooperative agreement by NICHD.

Previous studies demonstrated strong associations between the prone sleep position (on the stomach) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). To evaluate changes in infant sleep position following the release of infant sleep position recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1992, and those released since then, NISP examined factors that affect infant sleep-position choices made by caregivers.

The study also examined other aspects of infant sleep environment and caregiver choices for infant sleep environment, including bed sharing with adults or other household members, within the context of SIDS, entrapment, overlay, and suffocation.

NICHD's Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB) supported the NISP study, which conducted yearly phone interview with approximately 1,000 nighttime U.S. caregivers of infants who were age 8 months or younger.

NISP is now complete. However, the dataset from the study and from another completed study, called the Collaborative Home Infant Monitoring Evaluation Study, are available to ensure they are used to their fullest extent.

The NISP database contains data collected during the study, including:

  • Characteristics of the infant and the sleep environment, including soft bedding and where the baby slept
  • Infant sleep position
  • Reasons for caregiver sleep position choice
  • Sleep position recommendations from specific sources
  • Sociodemographic information about the mother and the household

More Information

NISP Protocol, Data, Publications, and Related Documents in NICHD DASH

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