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Can Co-Sleeping Be Safe For Baby?

Can Co-Sleeping Be Safe For Baby?

Many parents have differing opinions on whether sleeping with their baby is a beneficial and safe practice.  Mothers who breastfeed often sleep with their infants to make those midnight feedings a little easier.  Some parents also feel sleeping with their baby gives them the extra bonding time they need.  But is it safe?

A new study recently released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows a rise in accidental suffocation related deaths of infants who sleep with their parents.  According to the study, 315 babies were suffocated when a parent accidentally rolled over on them in bed during the years of 2003 and 2004. 

CNN released a report with the study’s findings and also spoke with women who are both for and against parents co-sleeping with their young babies.  One woman by the name of Lisa West-Mullen urges parents to heed the advice of the CDC as she lost her 4-month-old when she accidentally rolled over on him in bed one morning. 

Another woman from the report finds that sleeping with her infant to be perfectly safe.  Beverly Steiger said, “It’s really hard to explain, but you have such a heightened awareness when you’re exclusively breastfeeding your baby.  I would never, ever roll over on him.  It would never, ever happen.”  Pediatrician, Dr. Bob Sears agrees with Steiger.  He believes the CDC report doesn’t prove co-sleeping is really dangerous.  He stressed that if co-sleeping is done correctly it can be very safe. 

There are other options of course for the parent who wants to sleep near their baby but worries about safety issues.  Devices like the co-sleeper, a crib that attaches to the bed, are made for parents who want to be in arm’s reach of their baby but don’t want to share a bed.  There are also small protective infant sleepers that fit right into the parents’ bed with hard sides that can prevent accidents. 

To view the CNN video clip regarding the CDC reports you can visit:
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/health/2009/02/23/cohen.cosleep.dangers.cnn

What do you think about the latest CDC report that shows a rise in infant co-sleeping related accidents?

Do you think sleeping with an infant can be done safely?



 

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  • whitedaisy369 By whitedaisy369
    03.03.09  

    My first son sleep with me till he was 2 because of breast feeding and now my second son is in bed with me becuaes of the same thing. its a selfish thing fo rme, I dont want to get out of bed.

  • southern_coder By southern_coder
    03.03.09  

    well, it looks like each to their own. :) I do believe that i will have my child sleep in a bassinet beside the bed, simply becuase I would never be able to live with myself if I caused my child's death by rolling on him or her.

  • mlhager648 By mlhager648
    03.03.09  

    I think people are getting too overly-cautious these days. I think it's a great bonding opportunity for mother and child and I've never personally known anyone who's ever suffocated their child. Not saying it couldn't happen, but considering that every last one of of my friend's and family members have done this (including my own mother) I don't think it's time to start raising the red flags here.

  • mooneykell By mooneykell
    03.04.09  

    I would never presume to tell other what to do with their own children, but I know I would be horrified to accidentally roll over and harm or kill my own child. No amount of bonding could be worth the risk of harming a child.

  • vrdrago By vrdrago
    03.04.09  

    I have done both. For me, the choice to co-sleep with the oldest was a life saver, I actually slept with him ON my chest and I was so hyper-aware while I slept that one night I woke up because he wasn't breathing. We rushed to the ER and it turned out his reflux was causing it. My second would not sleep with me or I would have put him in the bed. He refused to sleep unless he was left alone and had all the space available. My youngest sleeps with me and even in the hospital he would not sleep unless I held him against me. I don't know about other parents and I would prefer to have my bed to myself but they spent 9 months in my body and I refuse to rip them away from that comfort as babies unless they want it. Believe me, after 2 that co-slept and 1 that wouldn't, it's obvious what they feel more comfort with!

  • nutmeg By nutmeg
    03.04.09  

    I used the co-sleeper( attached directly to my bedside) for my youngest child. I slept much better without the fear of rolling over on her or her falling out of my bed. I was able to just reach over and breast fed her and then placed her back safely within arms reach.

  • ccarlyle By ccarlyle
    03.05.09  

    Have have a 9 year at co-sleep with us for 6 years. He is just now started with the stop hugging me and leave me alone thing. Now my 2 yaer co-sleeps with us and one day she will also want me to not hug on her so much. I love giving my kids as much time as a can day and night.

  • pretgrl By pretgrl
    03.05.09  

    I breast fed my 2 girls (4 and 10) and they both slept in the bed with me from the first night in the Hospital. They are well adjusted and sleep on their own in their own beds. Nothing wrong with it IMO.

  • aluminare By aluminare
    03.06.09  

    we had our baby in our bed for a long time. i was very tired... she wouldn't breastfeed and i had to wake up every hour and a half to pump and feed her, and it would take me another half hour for her to get to sleep(rocking her). so i decided to let her sleep in our bed. i loved having her next to me, so tiny and beautiful, and that smell of a newborn. it was amazing. the downside was that i am a heavy sleeper and i don't know what i do when i sleep so i would wake up with her crying and i was covering her face with my arm...i know, very scary. so that had to end. i'm glad she cried. anyways, i guess what i am trying to say is that if you are a heavy sleeper, don't put your baby in bed with you...

  • krissylea By krissylea
    03.06.09  

    I have five children ranging in age from 2 years to 17 years. Absolutely everyone of them have coslept with my husband and I. We never at any time had any problems with it. As a matter of fact, my 17 year olds are twins so when they were liitle, it was both of them cosleeping with us. I believe the relationship with our kids is stronger now because of the bonding when they were so young.

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