Now a widely accepted rule of parenting, the adoption of placing our infants only on their backs to sleep, is a relatively recent change in the Western world. For many centuries, European and American parents placed their babies on their stomachs for fear of choking. All this time, infants in Eastern Asia were placed on their backs for fear of suffocation. After East met West, it was observed that SIDS rates in China were only half those in the West, but this was assumed to reflect genetic differences. Until groups in Australia began seeing what happened to European babies SIDS rates in the Eastern and Southern hemispheres when town switched from face down to face up sleeping. SIDS rates promptly dropped in half, as they have in every city in the US that adopted the new position. To this day, no one has any actual proof as to why sleeping on your back drops SIDS rates in half, but it does, so everyone should place their infant on their back to sleep for the first year.