The recent headline making news about a new born baby who died when his mother rolled over on top of him causing suffocation is tragic in the extreme. We look at the dangers of co-sleeping and how you can make it safer for your child if you do decide to co-sleep.
“Horrible Horrible Accident” in Northern California
The representative from the Stanislaus County Sherriff’s Department has called it a “horrible, horrible accident”. The mother of a new born baby woke up in the morning to find that her little baby had died in the night when she had rolled over on to him, causing strangulation orsuffocation.
The county task force is now calling for the public safety campaign to up their efforts to warn people and educate them about safe sleeping habits. This incident has once again centered attention upon the controversial issue of co-sleeping where the infant sleeps in the same bed as his or her parent(s).
Pros and cons of co-sleeping
According the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is evidence to show certain advantages of co-sleeping. When the baby sleeps in the same bed as the parents, there is greater ease of breastfeeding.
There is also better bonding between the parents and children. Also when a baby is close to the mother, she can easily notice changes in breathing patterns or if baby is distressed in any way. Safe co-sleeping actually reduces the incidence of cot deaths (SIDS)
However there have been cases reported of accidental suffocation, smothering or even death of children due to being in the same bed as their parents.
Tips for safe co-sleeping
- Consider using a crib or cot and place it right next to the parental bed. This way the baby is safe and secure in their own crib. There is no chance of either the parents or their bed clothes posing any danger to the baby.
- Use a large bed where each person has plenty of space.
- Place baby on his or her back – this is the safest position for an infant to sleep
- Never, ever go to bed with a baby after you’ve had a drink, or had any recreational drugs; or even if you’re on prescription drugs that contain medication to make you sleep better. These may cause you to sleep too deeply and increase chances or accidentally rolling over the baby.
- Avoid co-sleeping if you have a sleep disorder.