Can Co-Sleeping Be Safe For Baby?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 02.24.09
Can Co-Sleeping Be Safe For Baby?
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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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  • kctigger26 By kctigger26

    I breast fed as well and never co-slept with my son. I had a rocking chair near his crib where I would nurse, when he was done I would put him back in bed and I would go back to mine. For me I feel this was best to set a regular schedule with my son and avoid the bedtime issue when moving him to his own bed. I have to disagree with co-sleeping develops and even stronger bond, my son and I have a bond that is like no other, I believe the bond that you build with your child has more to do with your interaction and the love you show to them!

  • blondemom By blondemom

    I enjoyed sleeping with all three of my babies, my daughter did breast feed my boys did not. I can't replace the closeness I felt with them and the bonding. My youngest has statred coming to my bed again since I have returned to work and its the sweetes thing for be.

  • pinkgeeni By pinkgeeni

    My daughter is 3 years old and my son is 8 months old ther both sleep with us and we feel it safe. We dint plan to but winter is cold for kids, they kick and move the blanket and sleep in the cold, they fall sick, then it is hard for every one. but we are palning to move them to bumker in a few months, my daughter already is excited about it. we still have a crib and a todler bed. kids are safe for sure sleeping with us, but we dont get a good night sleep, they keep moving, and we are concious to be carefull.

  • bendystar By bendystar

    I slept with my son until he was 21 months. I still breastfeed him at 25 months. It was the safest and sanest sleeping arrangement for our family and we had absolutely no trouble transitioning him to his own twin in his own room once he was ready at 21 months. He slleps through the night and is a healthy and well attached child. There is a safe way to co-sleep and I advocate it for any new family.

  • katie8 By katie8

    I slpet with all 4 of my children. in fact i still have a crib that has only been used as a nap time bed or a stuff animal keeper. I feel that children who sleep with their parents and or brother/sisters, they grow up with a bond that can not be explained. After 1.5 years to 3 years old the kids do get to sleep in their own beds or thier brother/ siters bed, it is their call. By 4 all my kids where in thire own bed. I have never had them cry out in fear of a monster or bad dream. I also found that they are closer to eachother and share better then their friends or cousins do with their brother/sisters.

  • richaverma By richaverma

    My little girl slept with us for almost one year.. It was not only easy for breastfeeding but I think she slept better with me specially in the cold winter nights.. Me and my husband also LOVED having her close to us.. Even though I did not make her sleep in the middle as I did not trust my husband who moves a lot at night.. I do understand and agree with the risks involved, but as someone said, if you do your research and follow safety procedure, it definitely can be a very nurturing experience for both the mother and child.

  • thedaurys By thedaurys

    Co sleeping with your children to a certain age can be rewarding and not dangerous. As long as you are not someone who tosses and turns and know for a fact you can do it is one thing. I placed a pillow(body pillow) between me and my daughter like she had her own side of the bed etc. I am a very light sleeper so I knew I could handle it. My son who is two now. Stopped breathing on us when he was three days old as I was getting ready to put him in his crib. I started co-sleeping with him for a week just to make me feel more comfortable knowing I was right there. Then I moved his crib basically ontop of my bed so any little noise I was up panicking.

  • hairs2u By hairs2u

    I never co-slept and my child is perfectly happy in her own bed and sleeps very well. You have to do what works for you. Everyone is different. I know people who co-slept for years they believe when a child is done sleeping with you they will stop. For me its best my child is in her own bed. For us, we get a better nights rest.

  • glsmith72 By glsmith72

    I just think we have to do what is best for each of us. I co-sleep where my sister does not. There are times I wish I did not but would not change anything.

  • amylewisrn By amylewisrn

    I cannot speak from experience on co-sleeping but as a healthcare provider I have concerns with a 150lb person sleeping next to a 10lb baby. I understand that mothers intuition is not something to argue with, but we don't always know what we are doing when we are absolutely exhausted. I feel that it is best practice to have you baby in another sleeping situation as close a possible but not in the same bed. BUT, at the same time I cannot look down my nose at anyone who does co-sleep with their children. it absolutely comes down to personal preference and no one can tell you the best way to raise your children, they can only tell you the facts.

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