Experts say that sleeping beside your baby can be dangerous
Have we stopped and asked ourselves if bed-sharing has any risks?
For some parents, bed-sharing seems like a good idea. It helps soothe your baby since you're close by, and it saves you a lot of trouble since your baby is within arm's reach. It also gives you peace of mind since if anything happens to your baby, you will be close by.
However, aside from the benefits that bed-sharing has, have we stopped and asked ourselves if bed-sharing has any risks?
Why it might be a bad idea
According to researchers, the risk rate for SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome, increased whenever parents shared a bed with their child. They added that the risk rate further increased for parents that smoked, consumed alcohol, or used drugs.
Co-sleeping is defined as sleeping close enough to your baby so that you can see, hear, smell, or touch each other. Similarly, bed-sharing is a type of co-sleeping wherein the baby and the parent share a bed.
The study also added that for babies who bed-share with their parents, the risk of dying from SIDS is five times higher.
They also pointed out that based on their research this risk is massively lowered beyond the third month of life. This is why they advise that for babies younger than 3 months, bed-sharing is a no-no.
While there hasn't been any conclusive explanation why some babies die from SIDS, there is sufficient proof to support the notion that bed-sharing and alcohol or tobacco use increases the chance of babies dying from SIDS.
In another story from the Charlotte Observer, a mother was sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Investigators during the case said that the mother had a history of alcohol abuse, which, coupled with co-sleeping, might have led to the death of her two infant sons.
Based on a statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics back in 2011, they recommend room-sharing, but not bed sharing for infants.
Keeping your baby safe during bedtime
The first three months are the most critical when it comes to the risk of SIDS. According to Parents.com, here are some pointers that you can follow to reduce the risk of SIDS:
- Make sure to put your baby to sleep on her back
- Avoid putting any blankets or toys inside the crib
- Use a pacifier when putting your child to sleep
- If you're a smoker, don't smoke during your pregnancy, and don't allow people to smoke around your infant
- You can try swaddling your child to soothe him
- Avoid putting your baby to sleep on her side
- You can let your child sleep in a crib inside your room
- Avoid sharing the bed with your baby
- Make sure that the mattress you're using is firm and fits snugly around the crib/bed
- Avoid overheating your child
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