To determine whether the sleeping position and the use of duvets in infants in 1994 had changed in comparison with earlier years.
Nationwide investigation in infant welfare centres.
194 infant welfare centres participated in the investigation. In November a questionnaire was completed regarding 2,5 preferably consecutive infants younger than 10 months, featuring; age in completed months, sex, parity of the mother, birth weight and subsequently: the position in which the infant was laid to sleep, and its cover during the last night.
The prone sleeping position decreased roughly from more than 55 in 1985-1987 to 24 in 1988 and 9 in 1994. In these surveys prone sleeping was significantly associated with masculine gender, low birthweight and higher parity of the mother. These associations explain at least partly the increased risk of cot death in each of these three conditions. In the Netherlands in November 1994 duvets were still widely used (77).
A further reduction of the cot death incidence (in 1993 0,30 per 1000 live births) may be expected from further implementation of preventive measures.