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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:
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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  • qsavingqueen By qsavingqueen
    02.26.09  

    All 7 of my children have slept with us as infants and toddlers. I've never had a problem. In fact, it has increased our bonding time and they have all adjusted so well over the years. Once they were ready they moved to their own room and beds, as a result we've had little to no night terrors/bad dreams or other typical nighttime issues.

  • ticklemeusilly By ticklemeusilly
    02.26.09  

    I also tried co-sleeping with a bassinet with my first daughter pressed right next to the bed, but as I was breasfeeding and a exhausted mom espeacially during the first month or so and breastfeeding, I would fall asleep feeding her in bed, and so yes we did co-sleep in the same bed, very safely. I would wake, and she would just be cooing, or safely sleeping. With my second child I brought the bassinet in but really never used it, as a breatfeeding mom you really are very aware of your baby. Or really any mom, once you know you have that baby in the bed with you, you become very alert to every sound and movement. My kids are now aged 12, and 4, and I still wake if I hear a sniffle or a cough from the other room. But I have to admit, that the 4 year old still ends up in our bed far too often, it is a habit that we are trying to break, that is the only down side, but really I think that she will move to her own bed when she is ready.

  • Houseofdenim By Houseofdenim
    02.25.09  

    I tried the cosleeper bassinet next to my bed and only used it a handful of times. Since I breastfeed my son, co-sleeping is much easier. Especially that first month postpartum when it's easy to fall asleep while breastfeeding. My son is now 11 months and still sleeps with me. we have the mattress on the floor and we are very careful about pillows and blankets. It just worked for us, I am a single mom, so there are no worries about someone else being in the bed, and it;'s true that mothers are very aware of their baby sleeping next to them. I used to be a very sound sleeper, but I am not anymore. any sniffle and I glance in his direction to see if he is okay...I know my parents coslept with all of us as well.

  • krispsmith By krispsmith
    02.25.09  

    When news articles like this come out, they always forget to correlate the information to comparable resources. While 315 suffocation deaths sounds incredulous, there were THOUSANDS of deaths in those same years to SIDS, also known as crib death. However, the suffocation deaths are what makes the headlines because the crib manufacturers put pressure on the AAP and put out press releases on the topic (hmm, sound a bit one-sided to anyone else?) Mothers and babies were designed to sleep together and in doing so, more often saves a child's life than harms them. Natural consequences also include promoting bonding and encouraging breastfeeding. The mainstay of any article on co-sleeping should be that if you can't do it safely, or don't want to, then don't. But don't rule it out before you can see if it works for you, co-sleeping could very well save your baby's life.

  • agaphmou By agaphmou
    02.25.09  

    I used to babysit my niece and nephew when they were very young,and I used to sleep with them,only because I was so tired from cooking,cleaning and playing with them.Now they are 13 and 10,so it was so long ago,I had not known about the dangers really,otherwise I would not have risked it,I would have made sure not to fall asleep.

  • christina_has_three By christina_has_three
    02.25.09  

    I've co-slept with my middle son and currently with my youngest. I noticed with my middle son that while he slept with me I would sleep more peacefully being able to hear and feel him breathing. That's what led me to co-sleep with my youngest son. I didn't with my oldest son only because when I tried neither of us slept well. I believe it's up to the parents and if the child likes it.

  • candy_apple1990 By candy_apple1990
    02.24.09  

    I think it is best to sleep with the baby in a bassinet next to your side of the bed. That way you are close to your baby, but there is no chance of accidentally sufficating your precious little one.

  • Sparkleandshine By Sparkleandshine
    02.24.09  

    I also have to respectfully disagree with "am_I_lost". The babies need to be held or near you was not caused by co-sleeping. Many 4 month old babies are not ready to be sleeping in a room on their own because of the basic survival instinct of a baby to be near it's mother.

  • Sparkleandshine By Sparkleandshine
    02.24.09  

    I believe co-sleeping can be done safely. It is done all around the world. There are 'rules' to co-sleeping though. You aren't supposed to co-sleep if you are drinking or on heavy medication as it will interfere with your bodies natural senses that prevent you from rolling over on your baby. You also aren't supposed to co-sleep with blankets and pillows near the baby (just like if they were in a crib). Also co-sleeping usually helps babies feel safe and bonded so that they will be able to sleep in their own rooms when they are a bit older and more developmentally ready to do so. Babies sleeping in their own rooms is a fairly new concept if you look at human history.

  • budgetingbell By budgetingbell
    02.24.09  

    Please ignoe my poor spelling above (co-sleeped)! I co-type too with a baby on my lap!

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