A new study has revealed that sleeping in bed with your baby raises the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) significantly. Though in America pediatricians have long recommended that babies sleep on their backs in an empty crib, many parents still choose to co-sleep, especially in the early days when night wakings are frequent and everyone is exhausted. But the study suggests that even parents who co-sleep and take measures to lower the risk of SIDS such as breastfeeding and not smoking or drinking, are making an unsafe choice. 

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According to the study, babies younger than three months old who slept with a parent are five times more likely to die of SIDS than babies who slept in the same room, but in separate bed, regardless of whether other risk factors were removed from the situation. Among babies between three months and one year, the risk increases by three times. Researchers believe that about 88 percent of SIDS deaths where there was co-sleeping involved would not have occurred had the family not been bed sharing. Because the study separated out each risk factor associated with SIDS, the findings are unique and even more conclusive than studies done in the past. 

Despite that this study and a slew of others before it have proven the dangers of co-sleeping, many parents continue to do it because of cultural norms, parenting philosophy or out of sheer desperation since babies tend to sleep better when they are close to their parents and middle. And then, there are well-known "experts" who choose to ignore the data and tout co-sleeping as a viable option. Dr. William Sears, author of The Baby Sleep Book and an attachment parenting advocate says that the science used in the studies that warn about the dangers of co-sleeping are inaccurate. So, it's understandable that parents may not be convinced that there is any real danger, but perhaps this latest study will convince anyone who is on the fence to proceed with caution.

I have to say, there were a few times I brought my son in bed with me to sleep for an hour or so in the middle of the night, and I honestly don't know how anyone finds it to be a restful situation. Each time I did this, it was impossible for me to truly fall asleep because I was so afraid of smothering my child. I know that parents will ultimately do whatever feels right for their families, but knowing that even people who feel they are doing it the "right way" are actually endangering their babies will make me think a second and even a third time before attempting to co-sleep with an infant in the future.

Imagen vía Sugar and Vice/flickr

Add Comment Do you co-sleep with your baby?
About the author

Shayne Rodriguez Thompson is a full-time wife, full-time mom, and freelance journalist trying to balance it all and looking forward to exploring the world with her son and husband. In her rare spare moments, she's a pop culture junkie and kitchen devotee who makes a mean cupcake!

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Add Comment Do you co-sleep with your baby?

nonmember avatar
Well I think it a depends on what kind of sleeper are you, heavy or light? Im a light sleeper any noise wakes me & I have been cosleeping for 6 months bc O breastfeed & its much easier to feed him laying down. So it all depends, if you know even a hurricane wouldn't wake you then dont opt for cosleeping.
paola...

My son didn't sleep with me as a baby, one time when he was 2 1/2 years my ex went out of town to work for a month and I brought my son to sleep with me, well he never went back and he is 5 1/2 years now.  It's not dangerous anymore and I like hjaving him with me but it's getting time to sleep separately

Jeann...

I co sleeped but for a very short period of time.

karla...

Only a couple of times while he was a baby and then as a toddler he did slept with me.

Rosaidam

I didnt co sleep nor think its a good idea but to eachs own. 

juans...

i did for a short period of time, but my bed was huge and i didnt sleep with a cover either. i was a very light sleeper and kept a night light on as well.

juans...

i did for a short period of time, but my bed was huge and i didnt sleep with a cover either. i was a very light sleeper and kept a night light on as well.

JCTVCBN

 

I did with my oldest.

Mamis...
I did for a little while with each of mine. Because I nursed it made it easier but I slept lightly. I did notice a couple times I would fall into a deep sleep but that was usually if I was exhausted from long busy days. So if I knew I was really tired, I'd nurse then lay them in their crib. When they were toddlers they'd climb into my bed in the middle of the night. By that age I felt it was a bit safer and if that helped them sleep then of leave them. If I were to have another I would probably do a few things differently in regards to sleeping habits.
MrsDi...
He stayed in a crib when he got bigger we co slept it also depends on how deeply you sleep
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