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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:

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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  • ann818marie By ann818marie

    I believe it is up to each family to decide what is best for their family. Everyone has different beliefs and situations. As long as the parents are safe about it, I think that if they so desire they should have their babies sleep with them. Personally, I would be scared to death that my husband or I would roll on her or hurt her. I wouldn't do it but wouldn't judge anyone who did!

  • Cinnamonmomof3 By Cinnamonmomof3

    All 3 of my children slept in my bed until they where a few years old. I would not do it any other way however, You have to figure out what is right for your child. I feel sorry for those that lost a child when they rolled over on them. That is a very sad thing, but do we know if the parents where drinking before bed, or on meds, or where they just heavy sleepers? I'm lucky to be a light sleeper, or I would not have done it. Also you can get the co-sleeper bed that set up next to your bed so the baby if not in your bed but at an arms reach.

  • BlondieKAA By BlondieKAA

    I agree that each family needs to decide what is best for them in this particular situation. I have co-slept with my baby on a few occasions in the early months when it just gets so tiring to get up every 2 hours with the baby. I am definitely a light sleeper and agree with Beverly Steiger when she said that you have a "heightened awareness".

  • tigpooh1516 By tigpooh1516

    I myself was not comfortable with my babies being right there, whether it be because I was scared of rolling over, them falling off of our bed, the sheets suffocating them or even them getting their head up around my pillows...the risk for something happening was just too great and I wasn't about to take a chance that was NOT necessary. They each slept in a bassinet right by my side every night and that was enough for me. To know I could reach out a hand and lay it on them at night if I wanted or pick them up and hold them if they were scared. I didn't need to risk their lives by having them in my bed with me. Everyone needs to decide for themselves what they are going to do. I would not want to push my judgement on anyone, it just wasn't worth the risk to me.

  • my3sons001 By my3sons001

    I don't believe that a baby belongs in bed with you! This to me screams laziness, get up and feed your kid. I have relatives who let their babys sleep with them because they were just too tired to deal with them and now the children are starting school and still sleeping with them. You need to decide whats best for you, but THIS IS MY OPINION!

  • angelavcampbell By angelavcampbell

    Let us remember that the CDC also purported "Back to Sleep" as a viable preventative measure for SIDS, however the CDC has since rescinded the advice in favor of what nursery nurses always felt was best: "Side to Sleep". This prevents accidental aspiration if the baby were to spit up. All five of my children have slept in my bed as infants. It is absolutely natural to keep your infant close and in my opinion perfectly safe in most circumstances.

  • gwendell By gwendell

    We co slept with my 4 kids, including twins. My husband works long hours and gets home only a couple hours before bedtime so he felt this gave him some additional bonding time with the kids. So far the first three have transitioned well to their own beds. The youngest is still with us. He is turning 2 this month and has co slept the longest. I know I will miss him being close when we finally transition him.

  • frizzyborden By frizzyborden

    I am not yet a mother, but I plan on having a child very soon. I have wondered about co-sleeping, because I know it will feel good to have the baby sleeping near me and it would make the feedings easier, but I'm terrified of suffocating my baby. My husband is a deep sleeper and could very easily roll onto the baby without realizing. I often wake up in the middle of the bed nearly on top of my husband, so I don't think it will be safe for us to sleep with our baby. I think the co-sleeper sounds like a good idea and I will probably look into it. If not, it will be the crib for us.

  • twicebad18 By twicebad18

    I have a 22 month old and a six month old and let me tell you this both my babies are in bed with us. My husband is such a light sleeper that if my hair touches him he wakes up. And I challenge anyone to try to convince him to let the boys sleep any where else. LOL. It's not being to lazy to get up to feed it's about wanting that extra bond. Also in my case we have an older house and the boys would have to sleep too far away for my liking. Kids will adjust to their own bed just fine. My son can sleep by himself he does this when he stays at his grandmothers. He also takes naps in his crib by himself so I don't agree with that argument either. It's not right for everyone but that does not make it wrong. Everyone has their own parenting style of what works for their family. It can be done safely and being a responsible parent is knowing whether its right or not for you.

  • Bargainhuntingmommy By Bargainhuntingmommy

    I have and am co-sleeping with all three of my kids. With my first it wasn't intentional. I ended up having a c-section with her. I tried putting her to sleep in a bassinet next to the bed, but it was too painful to get up for every feeding. When you are exhausted and fall asleep holding your baby while nursing to find her upside down, co-sleeping ends up making sense.Yes the heightened awareness does kick in immediately. I had c-sections with all of my kids so co-sleeping helps with the recovery process as well.With my current 4 mo old, just like with my other two I know the babies are there,so I am basically frozen for as long as I have to be. My oldest one is 6 and loves her room, she used to climb out of bed when she was little to sleep on the floor,that was our cue.I don't think co-sleeping causes a dependency,I think it depends on the child's individual personality.Some babies and kids are needier than others.What's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander.

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