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Improving adherence to safe infant sleep practices. Parents of premature and low-birth-weight infants are more likely to place babies supine (on their backs) to sleep at home if neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses teach them to do so and model that behavior in the NICU once infants are ready for it. Sleeping in the supine position reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the third leading cause of infant death in the United States. According to a study published in the April Pediatrics, after a three-month NICU intervention, supine positioning by parents increased from 39% to 83%, placement of infants on a firm sleeping surface increased from 5% to 96%, and removal of soft objects improved from 45% to 75%.