Effect of religious observance on infants' sleep position in the Jewish population

Y. Sivan*, S. Reisner, Y. Amitai, J. Wasser, H. Nehama, R. Tauman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To describe the effect of the level of religiousness on infants' sleep position in the Jewish population. Methods: A longitudinal telephone survey of randomly selected 608 2-month-old Jewish infants repeated at 4 and 6 months. Results were analyzed versus the four levels of Jewish religion observance. Results: A significant correlation was found between the level of religious practice and sleep position (P ≤ 0.002). 56.8% (50/88) of ultra-orthodox parents put their babies to sleep in the non-prone position, compared with 79% (411/520) in the other three groups (P < 0.001). Non-prone sleeping decreased when infants grew. Higher parity correlated with the level of religiousness and with prone sleeping in religious families (OR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.00-1.33, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Jews and especially the ultra-orthodox families comply significantly less with recommendations to avoid prone sleeping. Specific measures may be required in this population that rely more on personal experience and belief than on health care provider advice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-539
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Infant
  • Religion
  • Sleep
  • Sleep position
  • Sudden infant death syndrome


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