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Incidents Of SIDS Five Times More Likely When You Co-Sleep Would Have Meant Nothing To Me

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Babies Who Cosleep Much More Likely To Die Of SidsI know there are parents out there who have had a baby die to co-sleeping and my heart breaks for these people. I can think of nothing more terrible than that, because I believe the majority of parents who do co-sleep do so because they are madly in love with their newborn and can’t stand the idea of their baby being all alone and crying in a crib. Parents co-sleep for many various reasons, but one of these reasons is usually that they want to be close to their babies. Having a baby die because you wanted to bond with it is a horrible thing. I co-slept with all of my children. Not only because I wanted to be next to them but also because I’m terribly lazy and I breastfed and I hated the idea of wandering down a cold hallway in the middle of the night to feed my newborn. And of course there is a scary new study that suggests that co-sleeping is a lot more dangerous than any of us originally thought. From Raw Story.com:

The study, reported in the medical journal BMJ Open, found that parents who slept with their children ran a five-fold extra risk of their baby suffering a cot death than those left in their cots, even if they did not smoke, which is the main risk factor for such deaths.

The findings, of research led by Professor Bob Carpenter of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, are significant because they relate to babies aged under three months whose parents are thought to be at low-risk of their newborn dying because they do not smoke, and the mother has not been drinking alcohol and does not take illicit substances.

About half of parents sleep with their baby sometimes or regularly, either deliberately or because they have unintentionally fallen asleep beside them, other research shows. Cot death used to cause about 2,000 deaths a year but changes in behaviour, especially parents putting their child to sleep on their back, have seen fatalities fall to 287 across the UK in 2010. About half those deaths occur in cases when the parents and baby are sharing a bed, Carpenter said.

 

Even though we have all been warned of the dangers or co-sleeping from our pediatricians, my doctor did so with a wink and a nudge before confessing she also slept with her babies. It’s awful that something so damn cozy can be so damn dangerous, but I guess the responsible thing I can do in this case is to suggest all you parents with newborns invest in one of those co-sleepers you can prop next to your bed. I am doing that whole “do as I say, not as I do” thingy here because even though I knew it was dangerous I still co-slept with my kids. I just tried to be as safe about it as possible. So even though I loved co-sleeping, I’m suggesting you sleep next to your baby with your baby in a separate sleeping area. It may not be as cuddly and warm, but at least it will be a lot safer.

(Photo:  Konstantin Sutyagin/shutterstock)